Skip to main content

Full text of "The "Times" on the American war: a historical study"

See other formats


Google 



This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 



I 



i 



3Ll 






..Vi 

- T 



I 
I 



3 
-3 



* Vl 



\ 



iVi/.f. 3JL i'ji 



THE 



MAGAZINE OF HISTORY 



WITH 



NOTES AND QUERIES 



lA'^ 



Extra Number — ^n. 37 






^' 



THE *TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 



A HISTOBICAL BTUDT 



Leslie Stephen 



WILLIAM ABBATT 



TARRYTOWN 



1916 



NEW YORK 



THE 



MAGAZINE OF HISTORY 



WITH 



NOTES AND QUERIES 



txtra Nitmfa^ra 37-40 
VOL. X. 



WILLIAM ABBATT 

TARRYTOWN NEW YORK 

1915 



w * « « 



t * ^ t •* 



tf ^ * * 



/ / » 



N ;•, / 



T I 



- ••/ : 




• • • 



• » • 

• m 



t 



• • 



.• • 



INDEX TO VOLUME X 



317362 



THE MAGAZINE OF HISTORY 



WITH NOTES AND QUERIES 



euti Bumhttt ar*4a 



CONTENTS 



URIAH TBACT, POBTBAIT FrmUUpitee 

THE "TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR . . Leslie Stephen 1 

A HISTOBICAI. SKSTCH 

"SCIPIO'S" REFLECTIONS ON MONROE'S VIEW (1798) 

Uriah Tracy 105 

THE INDIAN COUNCIL IN THE VALLEY OF THE WALLA- 
WALLA Lawrence Kip 199 

THE TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN . Hiram D. Torrie %i5 

LINCOLN AS A STORY TELLER .... WilUam C. Church 315 

THE ASSASSINATION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

Rev. Newman Hall, LL£. S21 



INDEX 



Armstrong, John 272, 279 

Armstrong, Mrs 261 

Augur, Capt. C. C 186 



"Black Bob". . . .256. 264, 27S, 277, 278, 209 

Bonneville, Capt. B. L. E 181, 186 

Booth, John Wilkes 801-806, 809-814 

Bright, Jesse D 817 

"Brownley"Mr8 298-800 

(Mrs. Scott, mother of William) 
"Brownley, William" 294, 811, 814 

(William Scott.— Vt. Vols.) 
Butler, Gen. B. F 808 

Cameron, Simon 299 

Camaiken, Indian chief 211 $t seq, 

Cayuse Indians 199 et »eq. 

Church, WOliam C, 
Lincoln as a Story-Teller 815 

Du Pont, Admiral S. F 815 

Fbdlay, Bob 806 

GoodaU, "Col." 270 

Grade, Lieut. Archibald, 181, 190 192 €t tag. 

Grant, Gen. U. S 298-95 

Grattan, Lieut. John L 217 

Greeley, Horace 296 

Hall Rev. Newman, 
The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, 821 

Haller, Captain G. 181 

Hanks, John 285 €t seq. 

Hansom, Judge 268-64 

Hodges, Lieut. H. C 181, 187 

Jay, John 115 H seq. 

Kinglake, A. W 8 

Kip, Lawrence 181 et S9q, 

"Lawyer," Indian chief 197 el eeq. 

Lincoln, Abraham 25 et eeq. 

Tragedy of (H. D. Torrie) 225 

As a Story-Teller (W. C. Church) 815 

Lincoln, Mrs. Abraham. . . .255, 260, 262, 807 

Looking-Glass, Indian chiel 214 et eeq. 



Mayberry, Judge 246 

Mayberry, Sarah 289 

Mayberry, Susan 248, 247. 256 

Monroe, James 107 et eeq* 

Morris, Gouvemeur 116, 119 

Nes Perc6 Indians 195 et eeq. 

Owhi, Indian chief 211 et eeq. 

Palmer, General 194 et eeq, 

Polk, Trusten 817 

Putnam, George Haven 1 

Paine, Thomas 65 et eeq, 

Peepe-Mox-Mox, Indian chief 210 et eeq, 

Pinckney, Charles C 142 

Purviance, John 181, 186 

Rains, Major Gabriel J 181, 189 

Red Wing, Indian 256 

Russell, Captain David A 181 

RusseU. William H 52 



Salmon Fishery, Columbia River 188 

"Scipio," Ill et eeq, 

Seward, William H 50 et ««?. 

Sherman, Gen. W. T 84 et #09. 

Spence, James 81 

SUnton, £. M 807 

Stephen, Leslie 1 

Stevens, Gen. Isaac 1 181, 189 et eeq, 

Stoddard, Capt.. .278, 280-84, 292, 802, 814 
Sumner, Charles 296 

Tiffuet London 8 et eeq, 

Todd, R. S 255 

Todd, Mary 288, 241-248, 250, 255 

Torrie» Henry (Hiram)D 227 

Tracy, Uriah ("Scipio") portrait. Fron<tt|nse« 
— ^biography 107 

Vallandigham, Clement L 68 

Wallen, Colonel Henry D 181, 186 

Washington, George 107 

Whitman, Rev. Marcus 181, 200 

Wolcott, Oliver 107 

Wool, Brig. Gen. John E 181 



THE TIMES" 



ON THE 



AMERICAN WAR 



A HISTORICAL STUDY 



BY L. S. 

(LESLIE STEPHEN) 



LONDON 
WILLIAM RIDGWAY 

1865 



« 3 



' > 



NEW YORK 

REPRINTED 

WILLIAM ABBATT 

1915 

Being Extra No. 87 of The Magazine of History with Notes and Qitbries 



RES ARDUA VETUBTIS NOYITATUM DABB; NOTIB AUCTORITATEM; 0B80LBTI8» NITORBM; 
0B8CURIS, LUCEM; FA8TIDITI8, ORATICUM; DUBIIB, FIDEM; OMNIBUS VERO NATURAM. ET 
NATURAL BUA OMNIA. 

ItAQUE ETIAM NON ABSECUTIB, VOLUnSB ABimDE PULCHBUM UTQUE MAGNIflCUM EST. 

(It 18 a difficult thing to give newness to old things, authority to new things, beauty to 
things out of use» fame to the obscure, favor to the hateful (or ugly), credit to the doubtful* 
nature to all and all to nature. To such, nevertheless as cannot attain to all these, it is greatly 
commendable and magnificial to have attempted the same 

Flint, — preface to his Natural History, 



• • • 
• • • » 
» • • • 






EDITOR'S PREFACE 

THIS, although not specifically devoted to Abraham Lincoln, 
may fairly be termed a Lincoln item, and is one of the rarest 
publications bearing upon the War of the Rebellion. No 
copy can be found in any of a number of our greatest libraries, and 
I am enabled to reprint it only by the kindness of Mr. George 
Haven Putnam, who possesses a MS. copy made for him from an 
original in the British Museum because, even in London, long ago, 
he could not procure an original. Nor have I seen it listed in any 
of the countless catalogues received from English and American 
dealers, or auctioneers, in many years. 

The author was the late Leslie Stephen (18S2-1902) the dis- 
tinguished author of so many valuable works, notably the ' 'Play- 
ground of Europe,'* the "Science of Ethics," and of that "Life of 
Johnson" which has been called "the peerless model of short bi- 
ographies." He was also editor of the "Comhill Magazine," and 
from 1882 to 1891, of the "Dictionary of National Biography." 

Strangely enough the long article upon him in this latter work 
does not mention The ** Times'^ on the American War^ nor does 
the latest edition of the "Britannica." This may fairly be assumed 
to be due to its rarity. 



• • • 



. . . •• •- 



• 



«•!•>■ • 



THE "TIMES" 

ON THB 

AMERICAN WAR 

I — The "Times" on American Affairs 

IN discussing the causes of the Crimean War, Mr. Kinglake gives 
a prominent place to the agency of the Times. He does not 
decide whether the Times was the master or the slave of the 
British people, whether it prompted their decisions, or merely 
divined them by a happy instinct. The coincidence of sentiment 
between the Times and common sentiment is explicable on either 
hypothesis. A story, however, is related by Mr. Kinglake, which, 
if it is to be accepted as authentic, would tend to clear up the 
mystery. The Times ^ he says, used to employ a shrewd, idle clergy- 
man, whose duty was to hang about in places of public resort, to 
listen neither to the pre-eminently foolish nor to the pre-eminently 
wise, but to wait till some common and obvious thought was re- 
peated in many places by many average men all unacquainted with 
each other. The thought was the prize he sought for, and brought 
home to his employers. Once in possession of this knowledge^ 
they again employed able writers to enforce this opinion by argu- 
ments certain to fall upon willing ears. The Times was meanwhile 
regarded by ordinary men and women as a mysterious entity, a 
concrete embodiment of the power known in the abstract as "pub- 
lic opinion". As Mr. Kinglake says, men prefixed to its name such 
adjectives as showed "that they regarded the subject of their com- 
ments in the light of an active sentient being, having a life beyond 
the span of mortal men, gifted with reason, armed with a cruel 
strength, endued with some of the darkest of human passions, but 
clearly liable hereafter to the direst penalty of sin". They sup- 
posed it, I may add, to be in possession of a political knowledge 



< • 



• • • » . ' . . 



4 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

profounder than the knowledge of any private individual, if not 
than the knowledge of statesmen, and acquiesced in its arrogating 
the right of speaking in the name of the English people. 

(jt is, however, notorious that no part of the power wielded by 
the itines is derived from any respect for its consistency or its un- 
selfish advocacy of principle^^And this follows naturally if we 
accept as substantially accurate the account given by Mr. King- 
lake of the process by which its opinions are determined. A thought 
common to the great mass of the educated English classes must in 
all cases be a tolerably obvious one: if it refers to domestic matters 
which are familiar in all their bearings to the majority of educated 
men, it will probably be marked by shrewd common-sense; when 
thousands of Englishmen agree in thinking that the suffrage is un- 
fairly distributed, or that trade is oppressively taxed, they are 
probably right. Their opinions are, at least, the result of an oper- 
ation which may, without a palpable misnomer, be described as 
thought. In such cases, the Times^ in concentrating their opinions 
into one focus, will adopt a policy which, if not resting upon very 
exalted considerations, is at least dictated by homely good sense, 
and not marked by utter ignorance. But the case is widely differ- 
ent when we come to foreign politics. English ignorance in such 
matters is proverbial. The name of America five years ago called 
up to the ordinary English mind nothing but a vague cluster of as- 
sociations, compounded of Mrs. TroUope, Martin Chuzzletvit^ and 
Uncle TonfCs Cabin. A few flying reminiscences of disputes about 
territory, and a few conmionplaces about democracy, made up what 
we were pleased to call our opinions. Most people were as ignorant 
of American history since the Revolution as of the history of the 
Chinese empire, and of American geography as of the geography of 
Central Africa. Our utterances on American affairs might have 
the external form of judgment; they were, in substance, mere ran- 
dom assertions about unknown quantities. Now, the Times^ by 
the law of its being, would have to be the mere echo of these sham 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 5 

decisions. The honest British public confidently laid down the 
law, like a Dogberry giving judgment in a Chancery suit, and the 
Tim^s stood by as a skilful reporter to dress its blundering dogmas 
in the language of political philosophy. The British public talked 
about "Yankee snobbishness;" the Times translated its words into 
solenm nothings about "American democracy", and the public 
thought it had said rather a good thing. 

I wish to trace some of the consequences of this peculiar pro- 
cess by which a newspaper transmutes our rubbish into a kind of 
Britannia metal, and obtains our sympathy because we have our- 
selves provided the raw material, and our admiration because it is 
worked up into such sparkling tinsel. The very first necessity for 
this dexterous shuffling is an affectation of absolute infallibility; a 
true account of the Times would run like Prince Henry's description 
of Poins, "Thou art a blessed fellow to think as every man thinks, 
never a man's thought in the world keeps the roadway better than 
thine". But it would never suit our modern Poins to be praised 
for merely keeping the roadway; he must be credited with also 
pointing it out; and, to substantiate his claims of guiding the Eng- 
lish people instead of merely divining the path which they will take, 
he must naturally affect more than mortal wisdom. His claim to 
be followed is that he is always right. And the a posteriori proof 
that the Times has been righ^ harmonzies beautifully with this d 
priori claim to confidence. (^&irerybody, it says, agrees with us; 
therefore we are right; everybody always has agreed with us, there- 
fore we have been always right. The Times, like the figure-head 
of a ship, always leads public opinion; and, as we have always been 
following it, it must have been going in the same directj^. The 
beauty of this is, that the Times in arrogating infallibility and con- 
sistency contrived to insinuate delicate flattery to its constituents. 
No one can deny a claim to consistency founded upon perfect agree- 
ment with his own past opinions. 

So far then, the Tim^s is only to be accused of passing off false 



6 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

gems for true, affecting all the time to be a profound and an honest 
connoisseur. But a little reflection will show, what this4)amphlet 
is intended to illustrate by a striking example — ^namelyft^ danger 
to which this course exposed ilSx In our ignorance of tiEe cause of 
some great foreign convulsionjtjire judge of it partly by the way in 
which it affects our interests, and partly in accordance with certain 
traditional prejudicesA There must be something radically wrong 
in a war which affects our supplies of cotton; and we cannot credit 
with any heroic virtues, a race which chews tobacco and wears 
bowie knives. Judgments really determined by shallow prejudices 
can only be supported by constant perversion of the facts. Igno- 
rant people, even though they affect to be infallible, can pervert 
facts with genuine unconsciousness. They deduce their premises 
from their conclusions without the least guess that they are illog- 
ical. It is only necessary to fix the attention from [on?] the set 
of facts that makes for the side they have taken, and to shut their 
eyes to all others. Thus the next step of our infallible expounder of 
national opinions is to lay down authoritatively a theory, intended 
not so much to be accurate, as to serve as some justification for 
that which has come by a kind of accident to be the popular opinion. 
The evil which follows from this is obvious. The American natu- 
rally believes that the Times is, in fact, the authorized mouthpiece 
of English sentiment. He credits it with all the mysterious knowl- 
edge which it claims to possess, and assumes that in listening to it 
he hears the matureiopinions of the most educated and reflective 
minds of England. (Finding a complete perversion of his case, he 
naturally again attrilSutes it to malice rather than ignorani^e. He 
cannot believe that such pretended wisdom covers so much empti- 
ness; and he attributes to wilful falsehood what is at worst a desire 
to flatter its readers, overriding a love of severe historical truth. 
Our American thus assumes very falsely, though very naturally^ 
that the English people hate him, abuse him, refuse to see his merits, 
and knowingly accept the vilest caricatures of his purpose; he does 
not understand that we have stumbled into mistakes, and that our 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 7 

blunders have been pampered and exaggerated by our flatterers. 
He would naturally reply by abuse to our abuse; even if his own 
press had not already acted with as much recklessness and want of 
principle as the Times. And so the good feeling, for which all 
should wish, is hopelessly destroyed for a time. 

In explaining the process more in detail, I hope I may render 
some slight service towards producing a better understanding. I 
cannot see the force of a late piteous appeal of the Times ^*to let 
bygones be bygones". It is sufficiently impudent after abusing a 
man incessantly, and being mistaken in all you have said, to re- 
quest him to forget all about it. ^'I have been spitting upon your 
Jewish gaberdine, calling you misbeliever, cutthroat dog, and other 
pretty names for four years; but now — I freely forgive you.'* 

This, however, I leave the Times to reconcile with its own 
lofty sense of dignity. I wish bygones to be bygones, as between 
the English and American peoples, for I think that each has mis- 
understood the other. The most effective way of securing this 
result would be to throw our Jonahs overboard, to upset the credit 
of the mischief-makers who have interfered between us, and to 
withdraw our countenance from the blustering impostor who has 
been speaking all this time in our name without any due authority. 
Two men sometimes quarrel because each has been barked at by 
his neighbour's cur, and fancies that his neighbour has set it on. 
The best way of making peace is to prove that, after all, it is noth- 
ing but a dog barking. 

n. The "Times" as a Prophet 

IF a man may be pardoned for prophesying at all in political 
matters, he may be pardoned for making frequent blunders. 
No human intelligence can unravel the complicated play of 
forces by which the fate of nations is determined; and yet much 
may be learned from a man's prophecies. They show us by im- 



/"' 



I ' 



I 



\ 

V 



8 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMESICAN WAB 

plication what view he takes of the present, though they may throw 
very little light on the future. If a man should tell us that Heenan 
was certain to beat Sayers because he had drawn first blood, we 
should set him down as a bad judge of prize-fighting. His prophe- 
cy would prove him ignorant of the very conditions of the noble 
art, or ignorant of the strength of Sayers' constitution. By quot- 
ing a few prophecies from the Timesy it will, I think, be tolerably 
evident that it had completely omitted from its calculations some 
element which ought to have been taken into account. There is 
one other point to be noticed. The Times may reply to some of 
its adversaries — "We both prophesied in the dark, and though your 
prophecy came right and mine wrong, that is nothing to boast of". 
This excuse will hardly serve to account for the fact that the Times 
had prophesied the success of the South as confidently as the suc- 
cess of the North, and for the further fact that it has always boasted 
of its consistency and foresight. I will quote a few of its vatici- 
nations: 

Nov. 26, 1860. — "It is evident, on the smallest reflection, 
"that the South, even if united, could never resist for three months 
"the greatly preponderating strength of the North. '* 

April 80, 1861. — ^It hopes that "the certain failure of all at- 
tempts at coercion will be discovered by the Washington Gov- 
ernment soon enough to save the country from being drenched in 
"blood." 

"^ May 9. 1861. — ^**The reduction of the seceding States is an 
"almost inconceivable idea." 

^ July 18. — "No war of independence ever terminated unsuc- 
cessfully except where the disparity of force is far greater than 
it is in this case," and (July 19) "We prefer a frank recognition of 
"Southern independence to the policy avowed in the President's 
"message, solelv because we foresee, as bystanders, that this is the 









THE 'TDiES" ON THE AMERICAN WAB 9 

^'issue in which, after infinite loss and humiliation, the contest 
must result. 

The character thus indicated of the philosophic bystander 
seeing things more clearly than was given to the fooUsh and pig* 
headed Northerners who persisted in going their own way, was 
perhaps that in which the Times most delighted to appear. 

Aug. 27. — ^It appears in the same character, modified by a 
stronger dash of the profound philosopher. England, it says, 
might as well attempt to conquer France, or, indeed, better; for 
the Northerners are not (as we should, of course, be in the case 
supposed) agreed among themselves. The only parallel in his- 
tory is the French invasion of Russia, but Napoleon had far greater 
resources than the North, and the South is far stronger than Russia. 
"We are in a condition to give advice," which is, in short, for North 
and South to part friends. The Times never could learn, though 
incessantly burning its fingers, to keep clear of these dangerous 
historical parallels. 

By the beginning of 1862 it had become still more confident. 
January 14, 1862, it declares that this was a case "in which success 
was only possible with overwhelming odds; but here the odds were 
all on the Southern side.'" As throwing some light upon this au* 
dacious assertion, I may quote the Tim^s of September 24, 1862, 
where, in anticipation of Maryland rising to join Lee, it says, that 
the South have at this moment more than half the total population 
on their side; and it makes a rough calculation, apparently in utter 
ignorance of the census, and certainly in the flattest contradiction 
of it, of the rival forces. There were, it says, twelve millions on 
the side of the North, nine on the side of the South, and eight mil- 
lions "between* ' who are now gravitating to the Southern side. 
Now, as in all the Slave States, including the Border States, which 
never left the Union, there are only just twelve millions, and as 



10 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

there are nineteen millions of distinct Northern population, the 
Times has here been cooking its facts in a manner quite beyond my 
powers of arithmetic. On April 30 it had spoken of "a dozen 
great territories, with eight million inhabitants, as warlike as any 
on the face of the globe." September 30, it proved that the block- 
ade must be ineflfective and could only slightly raise the price of 
cotton. "If the war were only safe to last, we can imagine no 
surer way of making a fortune than by setting about to baffle its 
Custom-house officers and cruisers'*, — ^a silly remark enough, be- 
cause the chance of making a fortune necessarily implies a great 
risk, but illustrative of the predictive powers of the Times. Six 
months afterwards (Mar. 8, 1862) it was engaged in proving that 
the blockade was already eflfective. 

Jan. 15, 1862. — The Times^ perhaps, culminated as a prophet, 
"How long," it inquired, "is this to last? Not long enough for the 
conquest of the South. Shall we give the volunteers two months 
as the period necessary to enlighten them as to the difference be- 
tween paper dollars and silver dollars? It will be ample time. We 
need not give the contractors nearly so long. . . . The army of the 
Potomac will melt away insensibly, or, if it be so unfortunate as to 
be down South, it will die away unfed and unsuccoured in the 
swamps of Secessia. The beginning of the end has come." The 
Times announced that it was impossible to carry on war (that is, 
as it explained afterwards, "offensive war") upon paper money; 
and a collapse would necessarily follow in two months. Truly, 
prophets should read history. 

A singular thing now happened. The North perversely, and 
in utter disregard of the Tim^s, took New Orleans, Fort Donelson, 
Newbeme, Beaufort, and other places, and seemed to be. carrying 
all before them. The Times at once showed, as I shall have here- 
after to remark, several signs of conversion to their cause. For 
the present I need only mention its prophecies. 






THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 11 

March 31 » — ^It confesses with interesting frankness that all 
calculations (all its calculations) had gone wrong **on account of 
the unexpected and astonishing resolution of the North, of which 
it would be unjust to depreciate the spirit, etc." We failed to sym- 
pathize, "not that we sympathized with slave-holders or approved 
the wilful destruction of a great political fabric, but that we thought 
the fact accomplished and its reversal beyond possibility." 

The resources of the North have now begun to tell. They are 
twenty millions to ten, and can command the sea. (On July 21, 
four months later, they speak contemptuously of "the few shallow 
reasoners in this country, who are always telling us that twenty 
millions must in the end beat ten millions" — "a silly fallacy" 
which had received a practical refutation in McClellan*s defeat.) 
The slaves had not risen, as was predicted. As for finances, "it 
is beyond all question that the North is getting on smoothly enough 
for the present". Still, if the South persevered, they must es- 
tablish their independence. 

"^ May 28. — ^**That the Federals have established an ascendancy 
in the field is beyond all question". "The whole story is a mystery 
as well as a marvel. It is almost as hard to believe what has oc- 
curred as to imagine what may ultimately happen". To call a 
thing a mystery is to make two assertions: one, that you don't 
understand it yourself; the other, that no one else understands it. 

June 28. — ^After a long discussion of the war it comes to the 
conclusion, "the superior numbers and resources of the North we 
look upon as certain in the end to prevail". 

Directly after so positive an assertion, and shortly after a dec- 
laration, that the whole story was a "mystery and a marvel", I am 
not surprised to find the Times recover its complacency at a bound. 
McClellan's expedition was at a standstill. 

July S, 1862 —"We", it says, "have been right, and the 
North" wrong in so many things that our opinion is at any rate 



12 TBE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

entitled "to consideration". "We'* means England, with the ex- 
ception of an insignificant minority, and, of course, as interpreted 
by the Times. 

And for the next two years and a half, it prophesies with un- 
abated vigour in the old direction. The only pause was during the 
spring of 1864, and is to be attributed probably to the Schleswig- 
Holstein difficulties which attracted the public attention. 

I will give a few specimens, though many are imnecessary, as 
models of pointed, vigorous, and unfulfilled prediction. 

"? Sept. 11, 1862. — ^The talk of putting down the rebellion, 
punishing treason, "putting down and crushing out rebellion, is 
mere verbiage'*. 

Jan. 17, 1863 (in answer to Mr. Bright). — ^**We have com- 
mitted the unpardonable crime of giving the Government of the 
Northern States credit for some good sense and humanity. We 
have predicted that sooner or later the North must see that its 
enterprise is hopeless, and that it must submit, as the mother 
country submitted eighty years ago. We have been mistaken thus 
far, not in the fortunes of war, not in our calculation of the Confed- 
erate strength or weakness, not in the cost of the war or the con- 
dition of American finance, but in the one single hope that the 
Federals would see what all the world except themselves see**. 

March 19. — "They might as well try to save it (the Union) as 
the Heptarchy." 

The next day is a very pretty specimen of the genuine Times 
mixtures; a little fine writing, a good deal of arrogance, and a spice 
of unmixed abuse all delivered from the "philosophical bystander'* 
point of view. 

May 28. — People "naturally asked whether the gentleman 
was to rule in the old world and the opposite character in the new. 
It is vain to look for those higher principles from which alone we 



THE *nMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAB 18 

might expect any settlement of the question If they persist in 

the rule of might, there is only one result, they will just annihilate 
one another. A miserable remnant, a ruined country, a relapse 
into savagery, and other evils unknown and inconceivable will be 

the only possible result From this vantage ground" (that of 

the British Constitution) "we tell these poor drowning wretches 
that they have no chance whatever, but to forget their dream of 
infinite numbers, of boundless territory, of inexhaustible wealth, 
and irresistible might, and bow low like children to the teaching of 
right. Let them just consider what they ought to do, and what 
'ought' means, and have some chance of getting out of this difficulty 
without blasting a whole continent. We do not say this is an easy 
or altogether a pleasant course, but it is the only course that does 
not lead to utter destruction". 

The poor wretches would not drown, but the Times was not 
disheartened. 

July 21. — ^**We forecast very naturally and pleasantly that as 
reunion is impossible, and the only object of fighting is to have the 
last blow, the winning side would be glad to make a kind and gen- 
erous use of its advantage." 

Aug. 31. — ^We find the philosophic bystander again: "In 
every civil war the combatants have been blind to prospects that 
every bystander could foresee, and we suppose this terrible and 
cruel struggle will Unger on till the North has no means left to 
fight, and the South nothing but freedom left to fight for". 

Oct. 19. — ^We come across a new and ingeniously accurate 
historical parallel. ''It will be found as impossible to overwhelm 
the native levies of men of English race fighting for their lives and 
possessions" (a delicate periphrasis for slaves) "by any number of 
foreign hirelings, as it was for Carthage with the greatest general 
the world ever saw at the head of her armies, and the wealth of the 
world at her command, to hire Gauls, Spaniards, and Numidians 




14 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

enough to break down the stubborn spirit of the less ably led Roman 
militia. A nation fighting for its liberty may not come victorious 
out of the conflict, but history affords no example that we are 
aware of, of an invasion and subjection of a warlike people by an 
invader who scarcely ever was enabled to sleep on the field of battle 
and whose constant boast was not that he had routed his enemy, but 
that he placed his army in safety". 

Dec. 24. — ^**Yet, though we greatly underrated*' (as is now 
evident) "the difficulties of the North, the opinion was almost uni- 
versal that subjugation of the South was impossible. Even when 
the North has surrendered her liberty and beggared her finances, 
she will not be able permanently to hold these immense countries 
and keep down their hostile populations on these terms". 

In the early part of 1864 prophecies became rare, as I have 
already remarked. Although the Times vehemently denied any 
value to the Northern successes, it probably felt that the taking of 
Vicksburg and the battle of Gettysburg had changed the aspect of 
the war. 

Its spirits, however, gradually recovered, and it asserts — 

May 3. — "The present prospects of the Confederates in this 
fourth year of the war are brighter than ever before". 

July 5. — ^The failure of George III. was not more complete 
*^than that which the contemplation of affairs in the middle of 1864 
shows us to have attended the efforts of the Federal Government." 

The next is a specimen of a pleasant figure of speech by which 
the Times occasionally describes itself as "all Europe" : — 

Aug. 22. — ^**The North must see that it is persisting in an en- 
terprise allowed by all Europe to be hopeless, and proved to be so 
by events up to the present time .... In Europe we can only 
employ the lessons of this unnatural conflict to confirm our con- 
victions of the hopelessness of the war and the necessity of a 
speedy peace". 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AliEBICAN WAR 15 

Sept, 14. — ^**The public will admit that they have not been 
misguided by our comments. The great fact which we asserted 
from the first is now" (six months before the end of the war) ^'placed 
beyond the reach of controversy. We said that the North could 
never subdue the South, and the North has now proclaimed the 
same conclusion". (This refers to the Chicago Convention). 

Oct. 10. — ^**Ruin stares the Union in the face if the war is to 
be conducted by General M'Clellan, and if it be conducted by 
President Lincoln the result must be precisely the same". 

Nov. 12. — The Times made an unintentionally good hit: 

"The subjugation of the Confederacy must be deferred by the 
most sanguine Republican to the spring of 1865". 

Dec. 14. — "To negotiation it must come at last, and the 
sooner the inevitable resolution is taken the better it will be for 
America and the world .... We, the bystanders, saw things more 
clearly than the actors, and we see them more clearly now". 

Feb. 22, 1866. — ^After explaining that Americans suffer from 
a certain "monomania" of devotion to the Union, it adds: — 

"So long as that idol stands on its pedestal the war must rage 
on, and we see no prospect of its early termination." 

The Times was evidently not quite confident, however, and it 
endeavoured to effect a strategic movement, of which the nature 
will appear from the following extracts : — 

March 6. — ^Sherman's "imexampled successes" expose him to 
a serious embarrassment. "He takes these towns one after an- 
other, but they are no use to him when taken. He is experiencing a 
difficulty which was always foretold. The Federals have regained 
their military reputation; but, if the South shall resolve to stand out 
to the end, they have made but little progress towards the con- 
clusion of the war." 



16 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

Its spirits gave way for a moment, and it confesses, March 8, 
*'The end is not far: the cause is simply bleeding to death". 
Once more it rallied. 

March 14 — ^"^E very body in Europe" (I have already ex- 
plained that this is a circuitous formula for "we" in the Times) 
"thought that the military ascendency which Sherman has at 
length established would have been secured by the North in a single 
campaign; but what, it was asked, would be done then? and that 
is the question before us now". Or, as it says more fully in answer 
to a speech of Mr. Bright's, — 

March 16. — ^"^We thought that the North would instantly 
ovemm the South, etc., etc. These things are only now beginning 
to come to pass. They have come to pass much later and in a 
much less degree than we had anticipated; but then we thought, 
and still think, that the real danger and difficulties of the conflict 
would begin .... It remains to be seen whether we are wrong in 
these anticipations. When we are shown to be so, it will be time 
to taunt us with our mistakes" (though it thinks Mr. Bright has 
made too many to throw the first stone). "At any rate, we are not 
yet convinced of our error, and need something more than Mr. 
Bright's oracular assertion to prove it". 

Mr. Bright has quite a peculiar talent for striking flashes of 
nonsense out of the Times. 

My concluding passage is not exactly a prophecy: 

4^ April 19. — ^**The catastrophe seems complete, and in all its 
accessories calculated to impress people with a feeling that the work 
is accomplished, and that the Civil War is really at an end." 

I lay little stress upon the fact, taken by itself, that the Tim^s 
prophecies came absurdly wrong. But I say that its errors were 
of a class which, besides the ordinary measure of human fallibility, 
implies a total misconception of the conditions of the struggle. An 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 17 

astronomer's prediction of an eclipse might fail from a mere arith- 
metical blunder; or it might fail because his calculation assumed a 
wrong configuration of the solar system. Thus the Times believed, 
or at least it occasionally asserted, that the South had actually 
greater resources than the North. It maintained that the North 
could not continue the war for two months, on accoimt of financial 
exhaustion. In other words, it was as ignorant of statistics as of 
history. It failed to recognize the extraordinary resources of the 
North, or to remember that wars can be carried on with a depre- 
ciated currency. It is true that it contradicted itself flatly on both 
these points. The superior numbers and resources of the North 
were, as it said (June 28, 1862) certain to prevail; and as it kindly 
observed (August 15, 1862), '"it is a mistake to suppose that money 
or credit, or tolerable supplies of food, clothing, and ordinary com- 
forts are necessary to the x^ork of cutting throats, blowing up trains, 
and burning houses"; in other words, it was driven to a paroxysm 
of abuse, by discovering that the Northern credit had not collapsed 
nor the war ceased on account of a suspension of cash payments. 
But the incessant predictions which I have quoted are doubtless 
founded upon the assumptions of Northern weakness in resources 
and in credit, and they, therefore, imply an error, not merely in 
calculation, but in knowledge of the primary data. 

The great mass of prophetic matter in the Times thus implied 
a false conception of the facts. But it was incapable of even hold- 
ing steadily to one conception. Before the war began, and in the 
spring of 1862, its prophecies were diametrically opposite to its 
prophecies at most other periods. In the spring of 1864 it was 
neutral. The Times^ in 1860, anticipated Mr. Seward's prophecy 
that the North would conquer the South in ninety days. In 1861 
it prophesied that the North would abandon its attempts in sixty 
days. And (November 4, 1862) it endorsed Mr. Jefferson Davis's 
assertion that the war could be carried on in Virginia for twenty 
years after the capture of Richmond. Mr. Seward was wrong, and 



18 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

Mr. Davis was wrong; the Times had the curious felicity of com- 
bining both blunders. 

The explanation of this doubtless is, that the Times had no 
fixed theory whatever. It looked on like an ignorant person at a 
game of whist, knowing nothing of the hands, and therefore crying 
out as each side took a trick or played a trump that it was certain 
to win the rubber. It would not believe that, in order to hold its 
own, the weaker side had played out all its strength, while the 
stronger had still its best cards in reserve. And thus, while the 
South was sinking in the final struggle, the Tim^s became more con- 
fident than ever. Whilst Grant held Lee within the lines of Rich- 
mond and Sherman pierced the heart of Georgia, the Times was 
confidently pronouncing the war hopeless and actually pluming 
itself in unconscious absurdity upon the confirmation of its sapient 
predictions. Like a man in a dark room, it knocked its head 
straight against the wall, without even putting out its hands to 
save itself. 

III. — Slavery and the War 

I HAVE, I hope, raised a prima facie presumption that the Tim^s 
was labouring imder some delusion. It had omitted some ele- 
ment from its calculations, sufficient to distort the whole history 
of the struggle. The story, to use its own words, was "a mystery 
and a marvel;" it was a mystery and a marvel simply because the 
Times was not in possession of the one clue which led through the 
labyrinth. A foreigner looking on at a cricket-match is apt to 
think the evolutions of the players mysterious; and they will be 
enveloped in sevenfold mystery if he has a firmly preconceived 
prejudice that the ball has nothing whatever to do with the game. 
At every new movement, he must invent a new theory to show that 
the apparent eagerness to pick up the ball is a mere pretext; that 
no one really wants to hit it, or to catch it, or to throw it at the 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 19 

wickets; and that its constant appearance is due to a mere accident. 
He will be very lucky if some of his theories do not upset each other. 

As, in my opinion, the root of all the errors of the Times may 
be found in its views about slavery, which lay, as is now evident, 
at the bottom of the whole quarrel, I may be pardoned for recalling 
very shortly some well-known and not generally recognized truths* 
I shall then be able to show how the Times treated them, and how, 
by cutting out the central knot of the difficulty, the whole skein 
fell into hopeless entanglement. 

All candid men will admit that the cause of the American war 
lay in the question relating to slavery. So many other issues were 
raised beyond the simple one of abolition or non-abolition, and so 
many political principles were inextricably interwoven with the 
question of how to deal with slavery, that interested persons were 
enabled for a time to impose upon ignorant and superficial obser- 
vers. Those who judged merely from the confused cries that rose 
at every moment from the battle-field, instead of inquiring into 
the antecedents of the conflicting parties, might be easily deceived. 

That slavery was in some sense the cause of the war rests upon 
evidence equal to that which would satisfy the rigid requirements of 
physical philosophy. By a simple inspection of the map, it appears 
that the great rent which divided the Union coincided with the 
lines between slaveholders and non-slaveholders, and coincided 
with no other line of division. It divided States, it split masses 
homogeneous in their agricultural or other commercial interests^ 
but throughout its whole length it divided slavery from free labour. 

More than this, the repulsion between the opposing masses 
varied in direct proportion to the degree in which one was, and the 
other was not, infected with slavery. The centres of the slave- 
holding interest were the centres of secession. The districts where 
slavery was dying out were divided in their allegiance. Those where 
it was legally or practically extinct were unanimous for the Union* 



20 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

More than this, again, the conflict of interest had led to dis- 
cussions prolonged over a generation. More eager and vigorous 
debates had never raged upon any subject. 

Those debates had turned exclusively upon the compromises 
which might reconcile the rival interests of slaveholders and free 
men. From Jefferson to Clay every American statesman had 
pointed to slavery as the rock upon which the Union was predes- 
tined to split. Every compromise that had been devised to rec- 
oncile the two sections turned upon slavery, and slavery exclu- 
sively. The Missouri compromise, the compromises of 1850, the 
compromises that were elaborately discussed at the instance of the 
Border States on the eve of secession, and with a view to avoiding 
it, all bore upon slavery, and upon nothing else. To put all this 
out of sight required stupendous ignorance, or equally stupendous 
impudence. There was, however, one chance of confusing the 
question. The Abolitionists in the North held slavery to be an 
accursed thing, to be attacked at the sacrifice of the Union, or of 
any merely human institution. The Democrats held that New 
York could no more interfere with slavery in South Carolina than 
with slavery in Brazil. The Republicans differed from both parties 
by holding that the powers of the Constitution enabled them to 
exclude slavery from the territories, and wished to use those powers 
so as incidentally to hamper and confine it within fixed limits. 
The Abolitionists and Republicans held slavery to be pernicious. 
The Democrats might or might not agree with them. The point 
upon which they necessarily differed was the right of the free 
section of the Union to attack slavery directly or indirectly; upon 
this question there might be any number of shades of opinion. 
Now it was possible to confoimd an unwillingness to attack slavery 
by imconstitutional means with an unwillingness to attack it at 
all, and thus with indifference to it, or even direct approval of it* 

All Englishmen, except habitual drunkards, object to intoxi- 
cation. None but a small clique would legislate directly against 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR «1 

drunkards. It would be as unfair to accuse the Times of indiffer- 
ence to the evils of drink, because it respected individual liberty 
too much to legislate against drinking, as it was to accuse Demo- 
crats of necessarily sympathizing with slavery, because they re- 
spected State rights too much to attack it even directly. But it 
would be still more unfair to accuse a man of favouring drunkenness 
who should be in favour of limiting the spread of new public-houses 
whilst refusing to interfere with the old; and, in the parallel case, a 
sincere Republican could, by no honest man, be accused of indiffer- 
ence to slavery. We shall presently see that the Times made use of 
this contemptible sophistry to throw doubt upon the sincerity of 
the great mass of American parties. To complete the circle of 
abuse, it was only necessary to accuse the Abolitionists of fanati- 
cism. A man who denounced slavery at all hazards was called an 
"exterminator" (their claim to this title has received a curious com- 
ment in the fact that the Abolitionists were amongst the most con- 
spicuous advocates of mercy to Jefferson Davis); a man who op- 
posed it indirectly, or not at all, was a hypocrite for preferring any 
other consideration to that of abolition. 

And here I may add, that a further amount of doubt was 
thrown upon the motives of the Northern States by the fact that 
the chief motive of the great mass was not hatred to slavery, but 
love of the Union. No one can doubt that this was the case. 
Slavery was attacked, not as an evil in itself, but as the cause of 
evil to the Union; this is true, but it is a very bad reason for im- 
puting insincerity to the assailants. I forbid my neighbour to get 
drunk, not primarily for his good, but because I am afraid that when 
he gets drunk he will break my head. This seems to be a very 
sensible motive. I am not arguing that Englishmen ought to 
sympathize with this worship of the Union; I am only saying that 
it was grossly unfair to cry out against the sincerity of anti- slavery 
zeal, because it was in most men's minds the result, and not the 
cause, of zeal for the Union. 



«2 THE "TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

Of the attempt to set up the tariff question as the real point at 
issue I need say little. That lie is dead. It is enough to remark 
that the tariff which favoured New England manufacturers or 
Pennsylvanian ironmasters, bore as hardly upon the West as it 
did upon the South, and still more certainly bore as hardly upon 
the parts of Virginia and Tennessee which adhered to the Union, 
as upon the parts which seceded. The line of separation every- 
where followed the tortuous geographical line between slavery and 
free soil, whilst it cut at right angles the lines bounding opposite 
commercial interests. The burden, borne for the benefit of the 
East, weighed equally upon the West and South; as it caused no 
complaints except in the South, we may presume that their dis- 
content was due to some deeper-lying influence. 

I have endeavoured to lay down this sketch-map the better to 
exhibit the eccentricity of the course steered by the Times. Those 
who may differ from me as to the relations of some of the principles 
noticed, may still agree in appreciating the facility with which the 
Times can take them up or lay them down in every possible per- 
mutation and combination. 

IV — Change of the "Times 'Tolicy 

ON the 4th of January, 1861, a letter upon the origin of the 
war appeared in the Times. The conclusions of the writer 
were summed up in these words, "Whether two systems of 
labour, one so dead, the other so full of life, can continue to live 
side by side is a problem which the United States are now attempt- 
ing to solve for themselves". A historical sketch was given to 
prove that all political struggles in the States had hitherto turned 
upon the same question. The Times, accepting these conclusions, 
argued that Mr. Buchanan, the then President, put the question 
upon too low a ground. Mr. Buchanan, it says, assumed that 
slavery was indifferent, that New England had no right to discuss 
it. He never remarks, as it indignantly declares, that "what the 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR S3 

Free States require, they are morally justified in requiring, whilst 
what the slave States demand, they can demand only at the cost 
of justice and right". If the Union gave no right to discuss slavery, 
the Union would be so ''unsubstantial and shadowy that it ought 
to be dissolved". But, of course, we "dispute the fact". The 
South was more responsible than the North for the previous agi- 
tation. We cannot disguise from ourselves that "there is a right 
and a wrong in this question, and that the right belongs, with all 
its advantages, to the States of the North". 

During January and February, 1861, the Times stopped every 
logical avenue of escape for Southern advocates. It proved the 
South to be morally wrong. To put forward such claims necessa- 
rily implied a low moral standard. "The North", says the Times 
(January 8, 1861) "are for fre^om of discussion. The South 
resist freedom of discussion with the tar brush and the pine fagot." 
The open avowal of such gross injustice could be accounted for 
only by the grossest ignorance. It was a kind of madness marvel- 
lous in a land of schools and newspapers; but "the mass of the 
people of the Southern States are in a state of deplorable ignorance", 
scarcely better than that of the Irish peasantry. The South 
Carolina manifesto was (January 19, 1861) remarkable for "utter 
falsehood". It proved that the State "was treading the path 
which leads to the downfall of nations and the misery of families". 
But had any one a right to stop them from following that path? 
The Tim^s answered, yes. To the "specious plea" that the South 
might colonize as well as the North, carrying the "peculiar insti- 
tution" with them, "the answer is obvious" (January 28): Slav- 
ery is in very truth a thing "hateful and abominable", and if the 
South should be so rash as to resist the constraints placed upon it, 
they would be answerable for the consequences. But the North 
were justified, not only on grouh^s of morality, but of expediency. 
It argues elaborately (January 18) that the North have the strong- 
est reasons for resisting recession. If they gave way, the Union 



24 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

would be broken into fragments, of which all the richest would fall 
to the South, (March 12). — ^If secession were permitted New 
York would probably set up as a free port. A doubt might still 
remain as to the constitutionality of Northern interference. Here 
the Times clenches the question by an argument, which would be 
indeed conclusive, were it not for its betrayal of the flimsy nature 
of its knowledge. (January 29, 1861) — ^In criticising a speech of 
Mr. Seward's, it expresses its delight at finding him at last occu- 
pying a ground which it is strange that American statesmen should 
only just have begun to perceive. It illustrates this ground by a 
pleasant fiction — of a proposal said to have been made some time 
ago for a simultaneous secession of South Carolina from the United 
States, and of Lancashire from England, to coalesce into a State 
based upon cotton and slavery. To such a proceeding we should 
naturally demur. In the case of Lancashire we should not go back 
to the agreement between Hugh Lupus and William the Con- 
queror. South Carolina would of course have no right to go back 
to the days of Pinckney and Washington. "So far as the Central 
Government is concerned, there is absolutely no difiFerence.** This 
is a vigorous statement of the principles of the old Federal party 
and of the doctrines which have now been demonstrated at the 
sword's point. But what follows is an example of an ignorant 
supporter trumping his partner's best card. The American people, 
says the Times y in their collective capacity have made the Govern- 
ment, and "left the remaining functions to be executed within 
certain territorial divisions called States .... Any individual 
seeking to destroy the central Government is guilty of treason 
against it, and the same thing is true of any aggregate of individ- 
uals, even if they should constitute a majority of a State or of sev- 
eral States." The naivete with which these propositions are set 
forth, as something new to American statesmen, and the confidence 
with which the writer mistakes his own guesses for established 
facts, renders the whole argument inimitable. 



THE *TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR «5 

So far the Times had pledged itself to these principles, that 
the South were attempting, and the North resisting, an iniquitous 
enterprise; that the North were bound, not only by morality, but 
by considerations of expediency, to resist it; and that under the 
Constitution they had the fullest legal power to resist it. It is not 
surprising after this that the Times (February 7) claims the grati- 
tude of the Northern States for that exhibition of English good 
feeling which, as it modestly anticipates, will enable them to win 
back the Border States, and through the Border States the South ; 
nor that it should (February 19) express a hope that "the force of 
poUtical cohesion will be too strong even for the ambition and sec- 
tional hatred of a Charleston demagogue''. Mr. Lincoln or Mr. 
Seward might have been satisfied with the principles of the Times ^ 
which, indeed, though not according to knowledge, were substan- 
tially identical with those of the Republican party. It was rather 
more outspoken with regard to certain Democratic weaknesses, 
although handling them with considerable tenderness, and as to 
the wickedness of slavery. But for a few slips such as that above 
noticed, it might have been supposed that the editor had secured 
writers who had really studied the subject, and that he was pre- 
pared to take a side founded upon some intelligible theory. It is 
always, however, easy for writers of such ability as those who form 
the staflF of the Times to ape a language which they do not really 
understand. Like a clever swell-mobsman in polite society, they 
impose upon superficial observers; though a word or gesture at un- 
guarded moments may expose the real amoimt of their knowledge. 
During March and April, 1861, this was illustrated by the curious 
perplexity induced in the Times by the appearance of the tariff 
question. Its New York correspondent assured it that the tariff 
grievance was a mere blind; that it had been lost sight of since 1846, 
and was now meant as a bid for foreign support. The Times hes- 
itated. (Mar. 5). — ^Some people, it said, thought that the slavery 
question was a mere pretext. (March 8). — ^However, it consid- 
ered that "the North was bringing discredit on the intrinsic merits 



1 



£6 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

of their cause". The only point of similarity between this war and 
the war of independence was, that in both there was a dispute about 
customs duties. (March 9.) — ^If this tariff were once out of the 
way, we would soon show on which side our sympathies really are. 
^There are no disunionists", it emphatically observed, '^upon this 
side of the water". (March 12). — ^It roundly declares protection 
is "quite as much a cause of the war as slavery". (March 14.) — 
Having heard of the compromise resolutions, it thinks that slavery 
is the chief cause. Protection was mere retaliation. (March 19.) 
— ^Slavery and tariff are on a par. (March 20). — ^It inclines to the 
South, because it has heard that the South are free-traders, and in- 
tend to suppress the external slave trade. The South, however, 
is reported to meditate an export duty on cotton. This "short- 
sighted policy" brings the Times back again; and, positively for the 
last time, it asserted without reservation that the North was in the 
right. 

Two months of complete approval of the North were thus 
followed by two months of oscillation. The Times had "missed 
stays" in going about, and was pointing in rapid succession to any 
number of points of the compass. The discussion whether slavery 
or tariff was the real grievance is, at best, like a discussion whether 
Chichester spire fell down because the foundations were unsound, 
or because a wind was blowing. The commercial grievance was a 
cause, but an entirely subsidiary cause, which, except as acting 
upon an incipient schism, could have produced no effect. That 
the Times should put slavery and the tariff as co-ordinate 
causes, and that so shortly after fully stating the case as concerns 
slavery, shows strikingly the shallowness of its knowledge. Its 
ignorance follows not from isolated blunders, but from a want of 
any theory by which the observed phenomena may be combined 
into any sort of unity. It is like a rustic looking at a volcano, and 
wondering whether the explosion is caused by the fire or the smoke. 
The Times has often been compared to a weathercock, fancying 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR «7 

that it decides the way the wind blows. It should be added, that 
it is too low to feel the more permanent currents of the atmosphere, 
and swings round in obedience to every gust that eddies through 
Printing-house Square. 

A complete change was about to come over its spirit, and the 
change nearly coincided with the fall of Fort Sumter. It dis- 
tinctly opposed the Northern claims; May 7 appeared a remark- 
able article. **The North", it said; "may be justified in its denun- 
ciation of slavery, but it is not fighting for the purpose of driving 
slavery out of the land. The South may be justified in protecting 
its independence, but that independence was not assailed. Strip- 
ped of its pretexts and trappings, the war stands out as a mere 
contest for territory, or a struggle for aggrandizement. Something 
may be said for either side, most for the North; but nothing to 
justify civil war.'' And, quoting the great idol of English respec- 
tability, *Xincoln", it says, "and Davis have abruptly closed with 
an alternative at which the Duke of Wellington stood aghast/' 
namely, civil war. If an Irish secession had broken out, and a 
party of Fenians seized the forts of Cork Harbour, the Iron Duke 
would undoubtedly have requested his erring brethren to part in 
peace.* 

The change to the tone, of which the key-note was thus struck, 
was the great change of the war; and, as it was the cause of consid- 
erable criticism, it is worth while to examine a little into the apol- 
ogy put forward by the Times itself. 

This was two-fold. It consisted, first, of a tu quoque. The 
fall of Fort Sumter startled the North out of its dream of concession 
and peaceful compromise. The Times had till then been in ad- 
vance even of the Northern opinion. Its worst complaint against 
them had been that, owing to their democratic institutions (Jan- 

*Tlie TtfiMf wu to much pleAsed wiUi this article that it reprinted many sentenoea 
from it MrMtfli that day fortnight (May 2l). Probably it thought that no one could re- 
mamber a TimM article for two weeka. 



28 THE •TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

uary 24), they were deficient in loyalty to the Union. The insult 
to the national flag changed their spirit like magic. They showed 
an enthusiasm that amazed even their friends. If, to use the argu* 
ments of the Times itself, they had not opposed the wicked designs 
of the South, if they had not resisted the forcible subtraction of their 
most valuable territory, if they had not resisted a rebellion as 
clearly unlawful as the secession of Lancashire fom England, the 
Times would have been the first to call them poltroons and empty 
braggarts. As they showed unexpected spirit, the Times said. 
Pray give in at once; don*t fight, whatever you do. When the 
Northern press complained of this sudden failure of support, the 
Tim^s replied, "You were cool when we were hot; you can't com- 
plain of us for being cool now that you are hot. You were willing 
(June 11) to let your erring brethren part in peace. WTiilst war 
was preparing, you were all for conciliation. Now that your enemy 
has given you a slap in the face, you have actually lost your temper. 
Itis nothing but woimded vanity (June 26). We did not cry out 
enough at your mighty levee en masse; and now you profess anger 
at our reasonable change." This was a calming reply. 

The Tim£Sy however, had a much better plea, and one which it 
constantly put forward, in the apparent belief that it afforded a 
full justification. It stated (see especially October 9 and Novem- 
ber 14) that it changed on discovering the unexpected unanimity 
of the South. The Border States declared for the South upon the 
fall of Fort Sumter, and the Times^ with characteristic prescience, 
saw that this rendered the struggle hopeless. It asserted, with 
every variety of vehement affirmation, that the North had no 
chance. I have already quoted some of these prophecies. The 
first, significantly enough, is on April 30. I have abo given spec- 
imens from May 9, July 18, August 27, September 30, and to them 
I must refer. I am content to assume that the Tim^s changed at 
the moment they saw the cause to be hopeless. It is a highly 
probable statement; and my only doubt of its entire accuracy arises 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 20 

from its positive assertion of November 26, 1860, already quoted, 
that the South could not hold out for sixty days. Nothing had 
occurred to change the military prospects, although much had oc- 
curred to change the sympathies of the Times. Assuming, however 
for the present, that the Times correctly describes its reasons, I 
would remark that a desertion of the right side the instant you be- 
lieve it to be the weaker side does not necessarily imply corrupt 
motives. A war which is a hopeless war is, for that reason alone, 
a wicked war. Advice against litigation may be perfectly judi- 
cious, although you believe that the litigant has the right upon his 
side. But two courses remain. An honest and well-informed 
man who had fallen into the same blunder as the Times concerning 
Southern invincibility, would have carefully grounded his advice 
upon the vanity of Northern hopes. He would not have changed 
his opinion as to the cause or the rights of the quarrel. A weak and 
superficial observer, on the other hand, would be certain to make 
two assumptions; one, that the side which for the moment is upper- 
most is certain to win; the other, that the winning side is neces- 
sarily in the right. It requires deep convictions to occupy Cato's 
position, to hold out against the charms of the mctrix causa. An 
indolent mind is glad to bring its sympathies into harmony with its 
expectations; it drifts imperceptibly into approbation of the con- 
queror's arguments as well as his strategy, and then into a belief 
that it always did approve of them. 

Applying this test, we can speedily judge of the merits of the 
Times. And as the best gauge of its deviations from its old path, 
I return to the slavery question. I have shown that the Times 
started with a very fair statement as to the relations of the war to 
slavery. On May 23 and May 24 appeared a long article from Mr. 
Motley, ably reasserting the principles from which they had so 
strangely departed. The Times would have none of it. It had 
said (March 28) that the only "point of contact** between this war 
and the war of independence was, that there were customs duties 



so THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

in both. Now it asserted, May 23, that the spirit of George III 
had entered into the Northern people; and May 24, it repeated, in 
opposition to Mr. Motley, that the precedent of George III was 
applicable. "The North", it said, "seems to have a good cause^ 
but it is surprisingly like the cause of England." It had gone fur- 
ther in an article by which Mr. Motley's letter was probably pro- 
voked. The war, it had said (May 11), was not one about slavery, 
but merely "to keep slavery as one of the social elements of the 
Union .... It was a war to keep Southern debtors and their prop- 
erty from getting beyond the grasp of Northern merchants". This 
ingenious theory completely turned the tables, and, as I shall show, 
was a favourite opinion of the Times. Presently, however, the 
Times made another change. Mrs. Beecher Stowe had made an 
appeal to the anti-slavery sentiment of the English people. 

She said, very truly, that it was "an anti-slavery war, not in 
form, but in fact;" that "national existence and not emancipation 
was the announced battle-cry; but national existence was in this 
case felt to imply the extinction of slavery". (These words, though 
expressing a sentiment now commonplace, illustrate the great diffi- 
culty of the American government. To obtain foreign sympathy, 
they must have proclaimed a crusade against slavery; but, for the 
all-important purpose of securing unity at home, it was necessary 
to make love of the Union the watchword, as, indeed, it was the 
efficient motive.) The Times (September 9) quotes these remarks 
in Mrs. Stowe*s own words, because it would "scruple to attribute 
to her views so little worthy of the authoress of Uncle Tom*s Cabin*\ 
Mrs. Stowe, as it condescends to inform her, "has mistaken an elec- 
tioneering cry for the war-note of a crusade". And with a ludic- 
rous pomposity it lays down its own opinion. It was not "an ac- 
cident", it admits, that the fracture took place at the point of junc- 
ture between slave and free States, though, if we define an accident 
to be an event whose cause is undiscoverable, it is hard to say what 
else it could be. The Tim^s, however, continues: — ^**That this was 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR SI 

not the true object of the movement on either side, admits of every 
proof short of demonstration; that the slavery question has since 
been lost sight of in the mel£e of civil war admits of actual demon- 
stration/' Ten days before this was written (August 31 ) Fremont's 
proclamation freeing the slaves of disloyal owners had already been 
issued; and by all who had eyes to see (including Mr. Russell, the 
Times' special correspondent) was felt to be the first step towards 
an inevitable conflict. Upon learning of the proclamation the 
Times sapiently remarked (September 80), as if it was a novel, 
but nbt improbable, theory, that some people considered abolition 
to be at the bottom of the whole business. Without committing 
* itself to this or the opposite opinion, it added that it was highly 
probable that abolition would be adopted as a war measure — ^not a 
very rash prediction, after abolition had actually commenced in 
Missouri, but a singular comment on its "demonstration" three 
weeks before that slavery had been already lost sight of. 

The fullest confession of faith that I can find is contained in a 
review (January 14, 1862) of Mr. Spence's work* — a book remark- 
able for its power of varnishing over the ordinary Southern argu*^ 
ments with a thin coating of sham philosophy. The Times adopted 
his conclusions, and spoke (April 26, 1862) afterwards of Mr. 
Spence's "admirable work" as clearing up the subject. The Times 
following Mr. Spence, complacently attributes the war to the de- 
moralization of the Northern people. That that demoralization, 
if it were proved to exist, should be ever spoken of by Englishmen, 
except in a tone of regret and humiliation, I consider to be a dis- 
grace to the speaker. If millions of English-speaking people, 
brought up in tlie enjoyment of our laws, literature, and religion, 
are, indeed, corrupt to the core, we should repent in sackcloth and 
ashes. The Tim^s, however, talks the usual talk about democracy, 
reckons up the burning of slaves. Lynch law, bullying in Congress, 
and other direct products of the slave power, as part of the North- 
em iniquities, and finally reduces the causes of the war to three 

^Tke ReeognitUm of the Soit^iem Confederation, By James Spence. London, 1S02. 



3£ THE "TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

heads. The first is the change in the political balance due to emi- 
gration; the second, an "original antipathy" aggravated by Abo- 
litionists; the third, the protective policy of the North. To repeat 
what I have already said, none of these causes can even be fully 
stated except as corollaries to the slavery question. Emigrants are 
naturally attracted by free labour; protective tariffs injured East 
Tennessee or Illinois as much as Eastern Virginia or South Caro- 
lina, but they only alienated the slave States. As for the "'original 
antipathy'*, the statement about Abolitionists is sufficient to prove 
that it means an antipathy between free men and slaveholders. 

The TimeSy however, argues that slavery is of no importance. 
"The reader will observe the clear distinction between slavery 
itself and the agitation for its abolition*' — two things which I 
should have thought it impossible to confound. The Times ^ how- 
ever, means in a blundering way to point out what it afterwards 
states as follows: '"As a cause of secession, slavery is subordinate 

It may be the reel on which the evil has been wound; but it 

is not the material of which the coil is made; it is a delusion, if not 
a fraud, to represent it otherwise*'. 

I don't quite understand the metaphor, but its general pur- 
port is plain enough. 

The Times had thus asserted within a year that slavery was 
the cause of the war; that slavery was one cause and protection 
another; that slavery was the cause and protection a pretext; that 
slavery had little to do with the war and protection much; that it 
could be "all but demonstrated" that slavery had nothing to do 
with it at first, and "quite demonstrated" that slavery had since 
passed out of sight; that "some people thought" that abolition was 
at the bottom of the whole business, and that it would very prob- 
ably be the result; and that slavery was the "reel on which the coil 
was wound", though "not the material of which the coil was made". 
In other words, the Tim£S knew nothing about it. I shall show 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR SS 

directly that its opinions as to the effect of the war upon slavery 
were equally oscillating. 

V. — The "Times" on the true cause of the war 

I MUST at first, however, remark upon the attempts which the 
Times made to account for the war, leaving slavery out of the 
question. After such dogged determination to prove that the 
magazine did not blow up on account of the powder, it was bound to 
invent some other cause. For the Times always affects the philo- 
sophical. Preserving its equilibrium by a series of oscillations, it 
never falls into the fanaticism of either extreme. It eschewed the 
violent abuse of the Tory organs — except when abuse was really 
required — as religiously as it eschewed abolitionist declamations. 
^'Surtout point de zUe^^* was its motto, or, in other words, "no po- 
litical principles at any price". Hence, the Times had to discover 
some working explanation of the war not involving slavery. It 
could not adopt the servant-maid's excuse that the vase '^came 
broken**, and the "three causes" enumerated by Mr. Spence were, 
of course, too absurd to be ever seriously mentioned again. 

In the first place the Times said, as a philosopher is bound to 
say, that the separation was owing to far deeper causes than slavery. 
After pooh-poohing those shallow observers who could believe that 
a war between slaveholders and non-slaveholders might be in some 
way connected with slavery, it said boldly — (May 30, 1861) — ^**the 
inhabitants of the North and those of the South are two distinct 
peoples" of the same stock, as much opposed ^*as the Austrians to 
the Italians, or the Muscovites to the Poles**. To test such as- 
sertions they should be inverted : it would be a singular remark that 
the Germans differed from the Italians as much as the people of 
East from those of Middle Tennessee. (Sept. 19, 1861.)— It pro- 
ceeded to moralize upon this. The tendency in Europe is, it ap- 
pears, rather "'for large States to split asunder than for small ones 

*Siirtont pat trop de i^le. Talleyrand's phrase. — (Ed.) 



84 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

to be consolidated", as may be seen in France and Italy. The 
cause of this tendency is that "nationality'* is the great modem 
feeling. North and South have separated, because North and 
South have as little in common as Magyar and German. The 
logic of this is equal to the accuracy of its facts. If nationality is 
the ruling principle, North and South should keep together. The 
Times can only say roundly that they diflFer as much as Magyar and 
German. It never condescends to specify the diflFerences which 
separate races identical in blood, language, religion, laws, and a 
few other characteristics, and for many years bound together in the 
same political and social organizations. A year later— (Jan. 23, 
1863) the Times repeats its statement that slavery is only part of 
the difference, but, as before, it declines to state the other part. 
Some better explanation was required. 

One might have supposed that the Times would have set the 
war down to that universal cause of all modern political events — 
democracy. People are apt to fancy that the mere mention of 
democracy gives them claim to be De Tocquevilles. The Times 
felt the temptation ; but there were two objections to its yielding to 
it, first, democracy would not account for the precise line taken by 
the split, and was so far an irrelevant cause logically ; secondly, the 
Times is a Liberal paper. Accordingly it adopted its usual plan of 
both asserting and denying democracy to be the cause. People 
are apt to declare themselves to be miserable sinners, and to deny 
that they have broken any one of the Ten Commandments in par- 
ticular. By an inverse method, the Times denies in general terms 
^^2^ that democracy was the cause of the war. In detail it constantly 
lays the blame upon the crimes generally associated with democ- 
racy. 

"We", says the Times of April 28, 1862, "were never amongst 
those who ejculted over the alleged breakdown of democratic insti- 
tutions; we saw from the first that it was not so much democracy 
as the principle of Federalism, under very peculiar conditions, that 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 85 

was on its trial". It had asserted more distinctly still (September 
25, 1861), that it agreed with its correspondent, that the war was 
not traceable to democracy, and that it has not been forced by the 
mob upon the educated classes. 

A fortnight before (September 12, 1861), in an argument 
which ingeniously combined various classes of blunders, it remarks : 

**We say nothing of the sacrifice of free institutions, &c. &c., and 
certainly nothing of gentlemen being ridden out of town on a rail. 
Sang Mob, where he is supreme, will naturally require the same 
agent as any single tyrant". However, the Times hopes that the 
war will soon stop, because the mob in New York and elsewhere are 
already feeling the pressure of hunger. 

May 24, 1861. — ^It had kindly remarked, that though the 
Southern statesmen could not be justified by any rule of law in 
breaking up the Union, law has not been the rule commonly pre- 
vailing in America, but ''almost unrestrictedly the rule of self-will". 
In flat contradiction to the assertion of September 25, just quoted, 
it had said on August 14, 1861, ''The war is the result of mob pas- 
sions, and the real act of men who have comparatively little interest 
in the maintenance of union, order, national credit, or property 
itself." 

The two lines are ingeniously combined in one article by an 
artifice of which the Times is specially fond. 

"Far be it from us," it says, (October 18, 1861), "to dogmatize 
about democracy, or to attribute the Civil War to republican in- 
stitutions. The secession of the South is certainly not a necessary 
result of any form of government. Yet it is not too much to say 
that the form which democracy has taken for the last thirty years, 
or since the Presidency of Jackson, was likely to lead to such a re- 
sult." In other words, we won't distinctly say it, but we will hint 
it. It is common for Protestant advocates to disclaim any wish to 



86 THE "TIMES'' ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

impute deliberate lying to Roman Catholics; but, they insinuate, 
if Roman Catholics did wish for an excuse, they might know where 
to find it. 

It appears, I think, pretty plainly that the Times was in the 
position described by Mr. Tennyson, ''sitting apart, holding no 
form of creed, but contemplating all," and, indeed, trying on each 
in turn. It did not really think that democracy was the cause of 
'^J^ the war, but it could not help saying stinging things about demo- 
crats; it could not doubt that slavery had really something to do 
with it, but it tried by every means to evade the inevitable conclu- 
sion. Slavery was an awkward topic, and it went so far as it dared, 
which sometimes was very far indeed, in denying it to be involved 
in the quarrel. 

VI. — The "Times on the Slavery Question 

I WILL now trace shortly the treatment applied by the Times to 
the successive phases of the slavery question. It will appear, I 
think, that it did not escape the Nemesis common to all apolo- 
gists for slavery. The Southern Confederacy fell because, in the 
words of its Vice-President, it was grounded upon the cornerstone 
of slavery. Their advocates have confuted themselves over and 
and over again by the strange contortions of argument forced upon 
them by the necessity of concealing this part of their client's case. 
They were constantly impaled upon the horn of a dilenmia; they 
were bound to maintain either that slavery was a good thing, and 
that the South were fighting for it; or that slavery was a bad thing, 
and the Southern cause had nothing to do with it. The first asser- 
tion shocked the consciences of Englishmen, and the second their 
common-sense. As the war proceeded, each proposition became 
more untenable. By degrees, the change of opinion, which had 
been predicted by all impartial observers, developed itself. The 
temporizing and half-hearted dropped out, and the lead grad- 
ually fell into the hands of the extreme of each party. The Times, 



THE TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR S7 

indeed, admitted, as I have remarked, that abolition might be 
adopted as a war measure; and, after the event, it observed upon 
the transference of power to the most thorough-going partisans as 
a process naturally to be expected. But, as a rule, the Times 
showed its perception by asserting that the reverse of this process 
was taking place. 

Thus (Dec. 14, 1861), it observes, in answer to Mr. Sumner, 
that the commercial classes in America depend upon slavery for 
cotton, sugar, and tobacco, and are, therefore, interested in main- 
taining it. Any opposition to slavery would divide the North into 
two parts — a good specimen of the method of reasoning from 
a priori considerations. 

July 28, 1862. — ^It observes that, "So soon as it becomes evi- 
dent that the South cannot be retained as a slave-owning portion of 
the Union, New York must naturally be against any further pros- 
ecution of the war — as also will be Massachusetts and Permsfyl- 

vania If Pennsylvania carmot sell her manufactures to the 

South, and New York cannot be the banker and broker of the 
planters" (which would, it supposes, follow from abolition), "their 
interest in the Union is gone. This accounts for the decay of the 
Union feeling in the Atlantic cities." And it frequently propoun- 
ded a theory stated as follows (Feb. 16, 1863). One consequence 
of the emancipation policy is becoming evident. "The war, in- 
stead of crushing down the revolt of the South, has produced a 
movement for secession within what remained of the Union. Polit- 
ical opinion in the North-Westem States is ripening to revolt". 

I may therefore assume it to be the settled conviction of the 
Times (that is, an opinion which it does not flatly contradict of tener -^ 
than three or four times), that emancipation policy, instead of 
being that to which the North would inevitably become reconciled, 
was likely to be the source of further schisms. But the Times was 
not contented with proving that the policy of emancipation was dis- 



S8 THE 'TIMES" ON THE ABIEBICAN WAR 

integrating the remnant of the Union ; it insisted upon also proving 
at intervals that it was a perfectly nugatory pretext, and in process 
of abandonment by its authors. It was, doubtless, so anxious to 
get this awkward topic well buried, that it almost believed in the ful- 
filment of its wishes. Thus (September 9, 1861), it asserted, as I 
have remarked, that it would be proved to demonstration that 
slavery had gone out of sight. 

April S, 1863. — ^"^Wholesale emancipation has ceased to rally 
the Republicans themselves.'' In place of it, a more genuine sen- 
timent is appealed to; ''a demand for the Union at any price, what- 
ever the eflFect on slavery. It is thus that we interpret the spread of 
Union Leagues. Abolition is to be excluded from their platform, 
because it has been tried as a political engine and found wanting". 
"The proclamation will be virtually repudiated just as it has begun 
to bear its fatal fruits.'* 

Nov. 14, 1863. — ^**The tenor of Lincoln's proclamation has 
been well understood by the coloured people. There is no dis- 
position to desert the cause of the whites, and, furthermore, the 
idea of conquering the South by means of negro troops has been 
utterly abandoned." 

Sept. 19, 1864. — ^It assures us, in an article to which I shall 
refer presently, that slavery is "no longer a point at issue, and will 
not be interfered with, after peace is restored". 

The Times being thus eager to prove that emancipation was a 
policy which could not unite the North, and which was always 
being abandoned, though it persisted in always returning to life, it 
is curious to ask what it supposed to be the probable effect of the 
war upon slavery. I will quote a few passages to prove how plainly 
it had realized the bearings of this complicated question : — 

May 9, 1862. — "The union is impossible except upon the 
basis of slavery; division is incompatible with the permanent exis- 
tence of slavery". Or, as it still emphatically asserted — 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 39 

October 7, 1862. — "We are in Europe thoroughly convinced 
that the death of slavery must follow as necessarily upon the success 
of the Confederates in this war as the dispersion of darkness upon 
the rising sun". 

March 26, 1863. — ^Appeared an elaborate article, in which it 
is proved that, if the war fails, the South will become a great slave 
empire. "No doubt it would carry the institution of slavery into 
all its new territory, whether conquered or annexed, whether on the 
mainland or on the isles of the sea". 

To explain this startling contradiction in terms of all that it 
had been hitherto saying, I must remark that the success of the 
South about this time had emboldened the Times to plant itself 
upon the more dangerous horn of the dilemma I have mentioned, 
and to declare that the South was fighting for slavery and that 
slavery was a good thing. "The race", it said, "vegetates in 
Africa, it rises to something better in the Southern States of Amer- 
ica, it languishes in the Northern States, it has died out in this 
country". Though it may not be well oflF anywhere, it is at its best 
in the South. 

December 18, 1863. — ^It is remarked that "if the Southern 
resistance is finally subdued, the institution will probably cease to 
exist". 

Let me sum up these opinions: The Times "demonstrated", 
in September 1861, in a passage already quoted, that slavery had 
gone out of sight already, and was in no way afifected by the war. 
In the first two passages quoted above it asserts that slavery will 
be destroyed if the North fail, and preserved if they succeed. In 
the last two it asserts that slavery will be preserved if the North 
fails and destroyed if they succeed. One other variation of opinion 
is possible, namely — ^that slavery will perish in any case. This 
view was elaborately maintained in an article of March 24, 1864. 
**It is very remarkable," it naively observes, "that the most con- 



40 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

spicuous result of the American war is the gradual elevation of the 
black race in social and political position. As happens in all po- 
litical revolutions, the most thoroughgoing party has proved the 
most enduring, and that party is the Abolitionist". If the resto- 
ration of the Union is hopeless, the destruction of slavery is not so. 
"It was pointed out, indeed, at a very early period of the war, that 
slavery could hardly escape from the double danger by which it was 
threatened. If the North were victorious they could do what they 
chose". (This, as it carefully explained, April 26, 1862, must be 
either the extirpation or expulsion of the blacks.) "If the South, 
they would be surrounded by free soil" (but, as shown, March 26, 
1863, a slave power including "the Isles of the Sea"); and it pro- 
ceeds to argue that the South will, by arming the slaves, obtain a 
numerical majority for the first time in the war. Perhaps the most 
direct contradiction to this article is the one of April 26, 1862, just 
quoted, where it is explained that the best chance for the negro is 
for the South to succeed, in which case the negroes will remain 
slaves as before. The same land will not hold the emancipated 
black and the slaveholding white. "The blacks must be re-en- 
slaved, must be exterminated, or must be re-expelled". Should the 
North conquer, the question will be between the last two alterna- 
tives. 

VII. — ^The "Times" on Emancipation Measures 

I WILL conclude the subject of slavery by showing the nature of 
the criticism applied by the Times to the most prominent of the 
successive measures which marked the gradual adoption of an 
anti-slavery policy. Although the accumulated efifect of those 
measures was too conspicuous to be evaded, it was just possible 
to misrepresent each taken separately. As we shall presently see 
that, according to the Times, the greatest military successes of the 
North were obtained by an unbroken series of defeats, it will appear 
that the old stronghold of slavery was stormed in a series of as- 
saults, each of which was a dishonest feint or a step backwards. 



THE 'TDiES*' ON THE AMERICAN WAR 41 

In the beginning of 1862, Mr. Lincoln brought forward a plan 
for assisting any State to emancipate its slaves. He proposed that 
Congress should help in compensating the owners. If, he said, 
"the border States accepted this plan, slavery would be doomed, 
and the cause of the war removed''. 

The Times argued (March 24, 1862) that the plan was absurd. 
Slavery, it said, was still kept up in the District of Columbia, Mary- 
land, Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, and Missoiui. (I have not 
been fortunate enough to find any recognition in the Times of the 
subsequent abolition of slavery in four of the five States named.) 
Hence, by some process of logic which is far beyond me, it inferred 
that "Mr. Lincoln has begun to entertain the idea so firmly enter- 
tained by every European politician that the only possible solution 
of the struggle is entire separation between North and South'*. I 
cannot, I say, follow the argument, but I am not surprised that the 
Tim£S pronounces the scheme to be totally unintelligible. 

It soon became evident that the scheme was not to be carried 
out. The Times then said (August 8, 1862) that Mr. Lincoln had 
wished to convert the border States into free-soil States, "well 
knowing and indeed avowing that the result of such a revolution 
would be their final detachment from the side of the South. The 

proposal itself was discreetly framed; by such a decision the 

border States would have committed themselves to the principle of 
abolition, and have broken with slavery and the South once for 
all". 

The Times characteristically shrank from admitting to itself 
the obvious nature of the proposal until the discovery that it was 
not to be practically tested. 

In October, 1862, Mr. Lincoln announced that he should issue 
his emancipation proclamation in the beginning of 1863. He rec- ^ 
ommended at the same time to Congress a scheme for the compen- 
sation of loyal owners. As this great measiu:e was perhaps the 



4£ THE 'TIMES*' ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

most important step, and the crowning glory of Mr. Lincoln's life, 
I will venture to recall to notice one or two obvious facts which the 
Times systematically disregarded. The Northern generals had in 
the first instance so scrupulously abstained from interference with 
slavery, that they even restored slaves to rebel owners. General 
Butler hit upon the happy legal discovery that these slaves were 
"contraband of war"; whence arose the slang term of "contra- 
bands" as applied to negroes. Now President Lincoln's procla- 
mation was an extensive application of General Butler's argument. 
Its constitutionality may be disputed, but its justification was based 
simply upon the right of a commander-in-chief to appropriate the 
property of belligerents opposed to him. The very arguments, 
therefore, by which it was justified proved it to be inapplicable to 
the loyal States. Mr. Lincoln had no shadow of legal claim to 
emancipate their slaves any more than to seize their cattle, and he 
never in any instance put forward such a claim. As, at the same 
time, the emancipation of slaves in the planting States rendered 
slavery in the border States insecure, some measure for securing 
compensation to loyal owners, or to those who might submit before 
the proclamation came into action, was a natural complement to 
the proclamation. As a military measure, the proclamation struck 
at the weakest point of the enemy. The policy which it oflScially 
sanctioned was, in fact, forced upon the North by the logic of 
events. Wherever the Northern armies went, they freed the slaves 
at the cannon's mouth, and the proclamation confirmed and ac- 
cepted the result. It acted like an acid, softening the hard-shell 
of Southern society, enabling the bayonet to penetrate. Southern 
society was, for the time, disorganized, to be reconstituted on a 
different basis. In the fact of that reconstitution lay the moral 
justification of the Northern enterprise, for it permitted the hope 
that the success won by arms might be consolidated by removing 
the very cause of irritation. The Northern armies administered a 
medicine potent enough, not merely to remove the symptoms, but 
to renew the constitution of the patient. But did not the procla- 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 43 

mation incite to a servile war? In one sense it did» and in that 
sense a servile war is the holiest of all wars. If a man may not 
fight to raise himself from the level of a beast of burden to that of 
a man, it is hard to say for what cause he may fight. How is a 
man ever to be justified for shooting his fellow-men, if he may not 
shoot them when they have prevented him from marrying, from 
being educated, from receiving the wages of labour, and from all 
the rights of property? But, it is said, a servile war often leads to 
frightful atrocities. The brutified man takes the vengeance of a 
brute upon those who have degraded him. Massacres and out- 
rages will follow the rebound from a fearful wrong; and holy as the 
cause may be, it may be accompanied by horrors so great as to 
quench our sympathy and to make us think the liberty of a race too 
dearly bought by such sufferings of one generation. 

If, then, the war can be so organized as to be freed from these 
stains, if slaves fighting for freedom commit no more outrages than 
men fighting for commerce or for a diplomatic point of honour, they 
have the most imperative of all claims upon our sympathy. Before 
we refuse it, we should be certain that the horrors incidentally re- 
sulting will more than outweigh the blessings. But it is an admir- 
able topic for thoughtless abuse to charge upon the abettors of a 
servile war all tfie atrocities that we instinctively associate with the 
name. It is easy to slur over the fact that such atrocities have not, 
in fact, occurred, and were not invited or provoked. Now, the 
warfare sanctioned by the proclamation was, I may unhesitatingly 
say, obnoxious to no such objections. Even their enemies have not 
attributed any special brutalities to the negro troops. They were 
less inclined to breaches of discipline than their white comrades. 
Nor, again, was the proclamation at any time intended to provoke 
a servile warfare of the atrocious kind; for the policy adopted sim- 
ultaneously was, not to endeavour to raise the blacks in distant 
plantations, but to form brigades of fugitive slaves on territory 
belonging to the Union. Neither was there any probability that 



44 THE 'TDiES*' ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

the proclamation would unintentionally lead to sporadic insur- 
rections in the South. For, besides that the proclamation could 
scarcely reach the remote plantations, it would be manifestly far 
more natural for a discontented negro to run off to a place where 
he could obtain arms and be effectually drilled, than to rise ''pro- 
miscuously'' in the midst of a population armed to the teeth. The 
proclamation tended to discourage such risings by promising a safe 
asylum for fugitives. The evident purpose of the proclamation, 
confirmed by all we know of the circumstances under which it was 
issued, of its plain meaning, and of the means by which it was 
carried out, was simply to give a legal sanction to a policy enforced 
by military, moral, and political considerations. Experience has 
confirmed this view, and it is, even at the present moment, the 
charter under which the negroes of the Southern States claim a 
right to freedom. 

I will quote a few passages to show how the Times treated the 
measure to which, more than any other, is owing the most remark- 
able social revolution of our time. 

Oct. 7, 1862. — ^Lincoln has declared that after January 1, 
1863, ''neither he nor his army will do anything to suppress any 
efforts which the negroes of the Southern States may make for the 
recovery of their freedom. This means, of course, that Mr. Lincoln 
will, on the 1st of January next, do his best to excite a servile war 
in the States which he cannot occupy with his armies .... He will 
seek out the places which are left but slightly guarded, and where 
the women and children have been trusted to the fidelity of col- 
oured domestics. He will appeal to the black blood of the African. 
He will whispei of the pleasures of slaughter, and the gratification 
of yet fiercer instincts, and when blood begins to flow and shrieks 
come piercing through the darkness, Mr. Lincoln will wait till the 
rising flames tell that all is consummated, and then he will rub his 

hands and think that revenge is sweet" "The South will 

answer with a hiss of scorn". New York and Pennsylvania will be- 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE ABfERICAN WAR 45 

come disloyal if slavery goes. "If Lincoln wants such a conquest 
as this, the North is perhaps yet strong enough to conquer Hayti". 
It is a mere proof of "impotent malignity", although there may be 
some "partial risings; for if any power publish an exhortation to the 
labouring classes of a community to plunder and murder, it will 
meet with some response''. 

Oct. 14. — ^The proclamation is an incitement to assassination. 
"In truth, it is nothing else, and can mean nothing else'\ 

Oct. 21. — ^After some facetiousness about *Xincoln the Last", 
after pointing out that though "Honest Abe" had been honest to 
his party, he had been dishonest to his country, and how honesty 
in this sense (perhaps in some others) was an intolerable evil and a 
sufficient provocation to secession, and inferring "how insupport- 
able must be despotism of which a man of this calibre is despot", 
it inquires, "Is Lincoln yet a name not known to us as it will be 
known to posterity? Is it ultimately to be classed among the cat- 
alogue of monsters, wholesale assassins, and butchers of their 
kind?" The Timfs thus charged Mr. Lincoln, in bombast worthy 
of the Family Herald, with all sorts of atrocities. There was, how- 
ever, a fear that some weak haters of slavery on this side of the At- 
lantic might be attracted by the name of emancipation, and, indeed, 
a crowded meeting was held in Exeter Hall, and the sympathies of 
the English anti-slavery party was manifestly afflicted. 

(The Northern cause was so distinctly identifying itself with 
the profession of anti-slavery opinions that the Times could only 
take one of two courses. Either it might deny that slavery was an ^ 
evil, or it might assert that the North was merely hypocritical in 
its assault. As usual, it did both) The first course required some 
courage. It made a bold stroke on January 6, 186S, in answer to 
some of the American Abolitionists. "They preach", says the 
Timesj "with the Bible in their hands. In that book there is not 
one single text that can be perverted to prove that slavery is un- 



i 



46 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAB 

lawful, though there is much which naturally tends to its mitigation, 
its elevation, and its final extinction". It then repeats the common 
special pleading as to St. Paul's Epistle to Philemon. "The only 
possible doubt about the exact meaning of his advice is whether 
slaves are to refuse their liberty even if it be offered, or whether 
they are merely to remain true to their masters even if chance pre- 
sents opportunity of escape. ... If it be said that slavery is at 
variance with the spirit of the Gospel, so are a good many things 
which are not yet laid under a ban of abolition or threatened with 
the war-power", e.g. purple and fine linen and good clerical incomes. 

This article marks, I believe, the point at which the Times 
culminated. The amount of its anti-slavery sentiments at a given 
time is determined by the variations in the Northern tide of success. 
This was just after the battle of Fredericksburg. This defense of 
slavery — or attack upon Biblical morality — ^was, however, a little 
too much for the British public, and the Times retired towards its 
former position, that slavery was "in truth a hateful and horrible 
thing", though it still vigorously denounced emancipation. The 
palpable failure of this policy — ^for the article produced a general 
cry of disgust — ^led it to take the safer line of declaring that the 
North was not in earnest. 

^Hie Times therefore asserted (January 19, 186S) that the whole 
affair was a piece of hypocrisy intended for foreign consumption!) 
"All the actors", it said, "are anxious to tell each other that this 
proclamation is Buncombe", specially Lincoln, but "no one in Eng- 
land imagines that the President .... desires emancipation for it- 
self". (No human being would now dare to doubt it.) The Times 
speaks of itself as hating slavery, but being "unmoved by all the 
stage tricks of Mr. Lincoln and his friends". "Mr. Bright is not 
such a simpleton as to believe in the benevolent intentions of Mr. 
Lincoln. Mr. Adams must have laughed heartily with himself at 
the few woodcocks who have been caught in his springes". This 



THE *TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 47 

last polished sarcasm refers to an address from the Anti-Slavery 
Society, congratulating Mr. Adams on the proclamation. 

Feb. 6, 186S.— "Of all the hypocrisies", it says, "which have 
scandalized the world within our memory, the pretext that this war 
is being carried on for the benefit of the negro'' (no one asserted 
that it was carried on primarily for his benefit) "is the greatest. It 
is a gross palpable imposture". An army of 150,000 negroes hav- 
ing been mentioned: "We all know what that means; it means 
10,000 domestic tragedies, and a political sham which seeks to per- 
petrate a hideous crime". 

Feb. 19. — The Anti-Slavery Society is compared to a society 
for the abolition of captivity in the Zoological Gardens; and, con- 
tinuing in this vein of metaphor, their leaders are said to be small 
dogs barking in the dens of the old lions Wilberforce and Clarkson. 
This will probably be a sufficient specimen of the Times' abuse. I 
will notice one or two palpable misrepresentations of a similar class. 

Oct. 7, 1862 — "Where he has no power", says the Times, Mr. 
Lincoln will set the negroes free; where he retains power, he will 
consider them to be slaves". 

I need not enlai:ge upon the absurdity of this constantly re- 
peated statement. \lt depends upon a blundering notion that Mr. 
Lincoln had claimed power to abolish slavery or to free slaves on 
other than military grounds. In direct contradiction to the Times, i/ 
it may be said that Mr. Lincoln freed the slaves where he had the 
legal power, and, of course, did not free them where he had not. 
But the Times systematically refused to see this^ 

Dec. 17. — ^It is amazed at a man, "as autocratic as the Czar", 
talking about Constitutional amendments. "The scheme", it 
said, "is very unlike the proclamation of three months since. It is 
a laboured substitute for the edict of September last". The fact 
is that it was a natural corollary, as I have shown. 



48 THE "TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

Dec. 29, 1862. — ^It asserts that the Northern Government is 
inconsistent, because, while seeking to identify the North in the 
eyes of foreign Powers with the cause of emancipation, it offered 
the retention of their slaves as "a premium to loyal slave-holders'*. 
That is, it did not attempt forcibly, and in defiance of all law and 
policy, to deprive them of their slaves, without offering compen- 
sation. To twist the non-infliction of a severe penalty into the 
offer of a "^premium" is an ingenious logical feat. But the Times 
capped even this blunder. 

It had been reported that Southern troops had shot certain 
negroes taken in arms. The Times (January 21, 186S) ingeniously 
remarked that Mr. Lincoln's abolition decree was fortunately il- 
logical enough to give the negro security. "Under the Federal 
flag he is a slave with all the immunities of the servile condition''. 
""If he can be held as a slave by one side, and shot as a free man by 
the other, his position is miserable indeed". There is something 
so muddleheaded about this, that I rather fear to put any inter- 
pretation upon it. It appears, however, to be the impression of 
the writer that any slave freed by Mr. Lincoln's proclamation im- 
mediately became a slave again on entering the Union lines, and 
was probably tossed up for by the first white regiment he met. If 
the Times did not mean this, its remarks are sheer nonsense. If 
it did, they are not materially better. 

To conclude the subject of the proclamation, I will quote one 
or two further passages on its effect. I have already quoted a re- 
markable one of March 24, 1864, on the ^^gradual elevation of the 
black race", which, however, the Tim^s appears to think a mere ac- 
cident. 

June 18, 1863. — ^It says, "We shall be surprised if the pres- 
ence of black regiments be not found a heavy loss to the present 
army, and a grievous loss to the enlistment of a new one". Within 
a week (June 23, 1863), it admits that the consequences of the 



THE "TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAB 49 

emancipation measure are becoming ''important enough", the en- 
listment of negroes being in progress in Louisiana. This admission 
seems to be made to prove that horrible atrocities will result. 

Certain atrocities were soon reported, but practised not by, 
but on, negro troops. Mr. Lincoln answered by a declaration that 
if the Confederates massacred black prisoners he must retaliate. 
The Timfs admits (August 17, 186S) that he could not do other- 
wise, but lectures him on the wickedness of the proclamation which 
made such measures necessary. Don't call in a policeman, or you 
may make the mob angry. 

It declared (I have already quoted some passages) that the 
policy was a failure, and speedily to be abandoned. (December 
SI, 1863). — ^It asserts that "Mr. Lincoln's proclamation has not 
fulfilled the hopes of its authors, because it has not caused the ser- 
vile insurrection which was justly deprecated by its opponents* 
policy". It admits that large numbers of slaves have been liber- 
ated, though, by the army, and not by the proclamation, and adds 
"if the Southern resistance is finally subdued, the institution will 
probably cease to exist". In other words, it admits that all its 
own predictions as to the probable effect of the proclamation have 
been falsified — ^that no atrocities have resulted, and that slavery 
is being extinguished. As for the quibble about the "army", the 
very purpose of the proclamation was to legalize the action of the 
army. But, whilst admitting that Mr. Lincoln's avowed expec- 
tations have come true, and its own been falsified, it persists in at- 
tributing to him other intentions of secret malignity which have 
been disappointed. 

The candour of this article, which is one of the annual sum- 
maries of the Times J corresponds to a certain superiority in its 
tone. It soon relapsed. (January 6, 1864) — ^Mr. Lincoln having 
stated that 100,000 negroes were already in the military service, 
the Times coolly assumed that not more than 100,000 had been 



50 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

liberated in alL The falsehood of this may be guessed from the 
fact that their own correspondent (January 29) tried to prove that 
not more than half a million negroes had been freed. I am not 
aware that the Times ever retracted its error, but it found a more 
convenient line of argument by asserting, not that the North had 
no negro troops, but (February 17) that their armies were entirely 
composed of negroes and foreigners. 

I will give two further illustrations of the candour of the Times 
in this matter of slavery. Society being thoroughly disorganized 
in Louisiana, General Banks put out a scheme for establishing 
temporary relations between freedmen and their former masters. 
I need not argue as to whether the scheme was carried out in good 
faith, nor whether it was to be considered as a step backwards to- 
wards slavery or forwards towards freedom. I will only remark 
that it clearly defined an intermediate state of things. The chief 
points in which Banks's regulations made the freedman differ from 
the slave were these : the freedmen were to have a right to schools, 
to a piece of ground for themselves, to wages at a fixed rate, to 
choose their own masters, to receive support from Government if 
incapable. They were not to be flogged, and could not be sold or 
separated from their families. No one regulation can be mentioned 
which placed them at a disadvantage as compared with slaves. 

The Times quietly asserts (March 3, 1864) that this scheme is 
in substance identical with slavery, and by May 17 maintains that 
it has restored slavery in an aggravated form. Between these two 
days (March M) occurs its proof that the most conspicuous result 
of the war is the elevation of the black race. 

By the end of 1864, it was abundantly evident that the war 
was crushing out slavery. Mr. Seward took advantage of this to 
say that slavery was no longer in question. Both Republicans 
and Democrats might, as he said, look upon abolition as an accom- 
plished fact. 



THE ^TOSEff' ON THE AMERICAN WAR 01 

The Times hereupon said (September 19, 1864), after quoting 
his assertion that slavery was no longer at issue: ^The Bepub* 
licans have played with slavery, as they have played with other 
questions". Lincoln thought the Abolitionists might be useful, 
and went so far as to make abolition (in his message to the delegates 
in Canada) a condition for the readmission of the South. (I need 
hardly add that he never swerved from this.) The TiWj proceeds 
to say that Seymour denounced him, and Seward has followed suit; 
it denies that slavery was any longer the point at issue, and says 
that it would not be interfered with after peace was restored. It 
quotes Mr. Seward's speech in the same sense — (November 26). 

That is, Mr. Seward said that a stipulation for killing slavery 
was useless, because slavery, if not dead, was mortally wounded. 
The Times made him say that a stipulation was not required, be- 
cause he did not care whether it lived or died. 

I have done with the mass of contradicting utterances con- 
cerning slavery. Let me draw one or two conclusions. I do not 
set this done to malice, for malice would be more consistent. The 
Times vacillates too much to obey the great commandment: "Tell 
a lie and stick to it". It rather proves, what no one doubts to be 
the case, that the Times takes in its politics as improvident people 
take in their coals, by the day, and has little thought either for the 
morrow or for the day before. Its only consistent effort was to 
avoid the unpleasant necessity of allowing that slavery was con- 
cerned. As it had drifted, from various causes, into a general at- 
titude of hostility to the American people, it would not make the 
most obvious admissions of a Northern tendency. Yet if the Times 
had given the devil his due, it might have attacked him with more 
force. Its line of argument would have been more consistent and 
had more appearance of candour. It might have made a tolerable 
case out of the States' Rights argument, had it not been obliged 
always to exhibit itself in the attitude of one wriggling out of an 
awkward dilemma. A little honesty would have paid in the long 



i^ 



52 THE 'TIMES'' ON THE AMEBICAN WAB 

run. The British public were quite prepared to hear the truth 
about slavery, and the Timfs would have gained in reputation from 
the unwonted credit of sticking to the truth when the truth was 
under a cloud. It ought to be honest even with a view to its rep- 
utation; to quote its own courteous language, would it not be well 
for it to think sometimes what "ought" means? 

VIII, — The "Times" Correspondence 

I HAVE shown into what perplexity the Times was thrown by 
its constant misconception of the relations of slavery to the 
origin of the war. It would not admit that slavery was in any 
sense the cause of the war, or, I should rather say that, after its 
conversion in 1861, it would only make that admission in one of its 
occasional paroxysms of self-contradiction — ^and, at the same time, 
it could allege no other cause. I shall now endeavour to point out 
how much the same error distorted its view of all subsequent facts . 

(3Jhe Times was, I believe, more honest than most persons sup- 
pose, because it was more ignorant than common readers can 
easily be persuaded to believe. It is, therefore, necessary to ex- 
plain, before proceeding further, the process by which its judgment 
on American affairs was apparently formed, as I cannot otherwise 
do justice to either its ignorance or its honestjQ The Times began 
by sending out to America a gentleman for whose impartiality and 
powers of description every one must feel a high respect. During 
1861, his letters, although in my opinion frequently expressing 
erroneous judgments, were highly graphic, interesting, and invar- 
iably gentlemanlike. Mr. Russell, however, left America in the 
spring of 1862, on not being permitted to accompany M'Clellan's 
Peninsula expedition. Occasional letters were afterwards pub- 
lished from a Southern correspondent, of whom I shall only say 
that a little more information, with a few less sentimentalities 
about Lee and Jackson, would have improved the substance of his 
writing, though they might have made his presence less acceptable 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAB 58 

to the Southern authorities. From the moment at which he com- 
menced his letters, he became (if he had not previously been) a 
thorough partizan of the Southern cause. The Times also em- 
ployed a special correspondent during part of 186S and 1864. His 
letters were unfavourable to the North, but evidently candid, and, 
therefore, such as no Northern sympathizer should condenm. 
From the beginning of 1862 until the present year, the Times has 
maintained at New York another correspondent. It had been 
originally my intention to treat this gentleman's letters at some 
length. I do not, however, think them worth the labour, because 
they were in themselves feeble, and because the degree to which 
the Times is responsible for them may be doubted. I will in a few 
words give my impression of them, because, as will presently ap- 
pear, they had considerable influence upon the Tim^s* official ar- 
ticles. 

I read (November 12, 186S) a letter from New York in which 
the word "heroism" caught my eye, as applied to the North. On 
looking more closely, I saw that in the same sentence the North 
was called "stiffnecked" and "stubborn", and that, after all, it only 
possessed an amount of consistency and unity "which really re- 
sembled heroism". Still I thought it scarcely possible that the 
New York correspondent should have permitted himself such a 
slip, and on looking more closely, I found that the letter came from 
the "special correspondent" above mentioned. This anecdote will 
illustrate the general tendency of these remarkable letters. They 
are one long effort, lasting for three years, to shut his own eyes and 
the eyes of his countrymen to the existence of any heroic qualities 
in the people amonst whom he lived. It must have been an irk- 
some task for a generous mind, and it is nothing short of sickening 
for any man of common feeling to read as a collected whole. We 
might take it as an agreeable bitter at intervals, but any one who 
follows my example in plodding through column after column of 
ceaseless abuse of a great nation will rise with a sense of weariness 



54 THE 'TIMES'' ON THE AMERICAN WAB 

and disgust. Every patriotic action is explained to have really 
originated in corruption or selfishness. Scandal after scandal is 
raked together, and carefully exhibited as an average specimen of 
American affairs. If you put any faith in the writer, the whole 
political and social machinery is rotten at the core and is worked 
by the most degraded motives; America is peopled by an unprin- 
cipled mob, sprinkled with charlatans and hypocrites, and governed 
by pettifogging attorneys. They hire other men to fight because 
they have no loyalty, and abandon their liberty because they have 
no courage. We all know the process by which such a picture may 
be drawn of any people. If you test the waters of the purest 
stream, you may find places where it is full of corruption as the 
Thames; if you send out your spies to those social depressions into 
which the viler part of the population of any country drains, he 
may honestly bring back a report that he has seen none but black- 
guards. I hope, for the sake of this correspondent's veracity and 
I believe from internal evidence, that he mixed exclusively with a 
society justly out of favour with their countrymen. To New 
York flows a very large share of the foreign and disloyal element of 
America. Wall-street is not more likely to take exalted patriotic 
views than our Stock Exchange; to judge of the American people 
by the gossip of a clique of Southern exiles, gold speculators, and 
refugee Irishmen in New York, is as absurd as it would have been 
to judge of the French Revolution exclusively from a Royalist 
emigriy or of English politics in the last century from a clique of 
Jacobites. I have said that I do not know how far the Times holds 
itself responsible for the opinions of its correspondent. It cannot, 
however, evade the responsibiUty of having given to him leave to 
vent in its pages some five or six weekly columns of unmixed abuse. 
It may be presumed to have considered them at least valuable con- 
tributions to our knowledge of the time, and tolerably fair pictures 
of what was taking place. It thought, that is, that a portrait of 
America, in which every virtue was scrupulously omitted, was not 
a gross caricature. 



THE 'TIMES'' ON THE AMERICAN WAR 66 

In a more important way these letters aflFected the Times — 
namely, that they were the raw material of which a large part of 
the Times* articles were manufactured, and that their statements 
eked out a good many hints left judiciously vague in the leading 
articles. To the popular mind the Times is hedged about with a 
certain mysterious divinity; it is thought to be at any rate in pos- 
session of unusual sources of information. A weight is attributed 
to its words which we should not give to the individual utterances 
of one of its writers. A little steady reading of the Times will dis- 
sipate this idea. The real process is this : The New York corres- 
pondent hears that in some remote village some one has been tarred 
and feathered for Southern sympathies. He ekes out half a col- 
umn by telling this story at full length, which he can do with more 
ease as the last military news was a Northern success, and will bear, 
like the battle of Gettysburg, to be dealt with in a few lines. The 
Times writes upon this story; or, to quit the abstraction for a mo- 
ment, the Times* editor tells a contributor to send him an article 
upon it. As the story is not a very long one, and even a Times 
article must come to the point after a certain number of flourishes 
the column requires to be filled out. The contributor, therefore, 
proves that the North have lost their liberties, and are passing 
through anarchy to despotism, and expands this sentiment by the 
help of a few of the absurd historical analogies which are always 
kept on hand. Thus a riot, equivalent perhaps to that which hap- 
I)ened a few days ago at Nottingham,* is the nucleus of a formal 
sermon from the Times to prove that the American Government is 
in the hands of the mob. And most people, who have not been 
behind the scenes of a newspaper, incline to believe it, and suppose 
the opinion to rest upon profound observation of a political phil- 
osopher. The result is flimsy enough ; but as it is well understood 
that a Times article is subject to the careful supervision of the ed- 
itor, we may assume that however slight the evidence may be, the 

^Since writing this I have seen this riot noticed in a French paper as a proof that 
en do not possess their boasted freedom of election. 



V 



56 THE "TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

editor believes that the North are in fact falling under despotic 
power with a force of conviction great enough to induce him to as- 
sert it in the most positive terms. How great that is, I can't say. 
It would, however, be desirable that people should understand that, 
as the strength of a chain is measured by its weakest link, so the 
broadest assertions of the Times about America frequently mean no 
more than rumor caught up by a silly gobemoiuhe in the streets of 
New York. 

IX. — ^A Military Despotism 

THE educated and intelligent men who wrote in the Times 
could not but be aware that most historical events have 
causes. Unable to assign that which first presented itself 
they were obliged to cast about for another. The hostile attitude 
to the Northern side, into which the Times had drifted so soon as 
the Northern side became, in its opinion, hopeless, made it ex- 
tremely unwilling to admit the most obvious truths in regard to 
slavery, f It took refuge in vehement assertions that the diflFerence 
between I^orth and South was as profound as the difference be- 
tween French and English, between Magyars and Germans, or 
between Germans and ItaUans^ but it never condescended to 
specify in detail the nature of this profound difference; it could not, 
in fact, have done so without meeting its bugbear of slavi^ry im- 
mediately beneath, if not actually upon, the surface./ I have 
shown the prevarication and web of incessant self-con^a3iction 
into which the Times fell in accounting for the war; I have shown 
further that it led to a total misconception of the effect of the war 
upon slaver^Ty I now have to show how the same embarrassment 
distorted its whole account of the machinery by which the war was 
carried on. The Times ignored any justification derivable from 
the circumstance that the aim and end of the struggle was the sub- 
version of the slave power; it was driven to maintain that the case 
might be fairly paralleled in gratuitous wickedness with an attempt 
of France to conquer Holland. Moreover, it was as hopeless as 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 57 

an attempt of England to conquer France. A nation could have 
no rational motive for pursuing an enterprise proved by the Times 
to be at once wicked and hopeless. Two or three explanations of 
the phenomenon were possible. The nation might be mad, a 
theory much used by Sir A. Alison in explaining the French Rev- 
olution. Thus the Times ^October 20, 1863) was inclined to agree 
with Bishop Berkeley that nations might go mad, like individuals. 
It was, however, too absurd for daily wear; it occurs in a few iso- 
lated expressions, which probably mean nothing more than that 
men who differ from the Tim^s should, in charity, be held to be 
mad. Again, the war might be explained if it could be made out 
that by some mysterious process every one made it pay. On this 
supposition war would be enough to account for itself, and the 
Times be relieved of the necessity for any explanation; or, finally, it 
was conceivable that the people did not really care about the war, 
but were compelled to fight in obedience to some external will. 
This supposed the Government to be a despotism. In short, the 
Americans were either mad, mercenary, or slaves. 

This last may be taken as the favourite theory of the Times; 
and, as there were not wanting circumstances to give it a certain 
plausibility, I will stete what I conceive to have been their real re- 
lation to the facts. ^That the development of great standing armies 
is dangerous to theliberties of a country, and that Republics are 
apt to be converted into Despotism by successful military com- 
manders, have become traditionary commonplaces.^ They have- 
probably about as much value as such commonplaces usually pos- 
sess, not, I should say, a very great one; but, at any rate, they are 
frequently applied rashly and in accordance with a very strained 
and superficial analogy. In the great outburst in the United 
States, it might not unreasonably be supposed that constitutional 
changes might take place, that the distribution of power might be 
altered, and that a good deal of the old machinery might require 
repair, or give way under the strain. It is undeniable that in the 



58 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

Southern States, partially or wholly overrun by the Union forces^ 
there existed for the time a miUtary despotism, resting upon mar- 
tial law — ^that is, upon the absence of all law — and often adminis- 
tered by vulgar governors, who frequently confounded brutality 
with energy. Again, in the Northern States it was an essential 
condition of the struggle that Government should be entrusted 
with great i)owers. Spies and sympathisers with the insurrection 
swarmed in the Northern cities. It was the boast of the South 
during the early part of the war that the plans of the Northern 
generals were invariably betrayed. In the attempted burning of 
Northern cities and in the assassination of Mr. Lincoln, we have had 
sufficient proof of the abundance of conspirators. Assuming that 
the war was to be carried on, it would have been childish to refuse 
the necessary powers to those who directed it. To relax the reins 
may be proof either that you cannot grasp them or that you are 
confident that you can at any time resume them. The Govern- 
ment of the United States are in theory the servants and the 
creatures of the people. In proportion as they are, in fact, de- 
pendent upon the popular will, it is safe to entrust them for an 
emergency with unrestricted authority, and when such authority 
has been comutnitted, it is absurd to quibble about its exercise in 
particular instances. When the ship is in extreme danger, the 
crew cannot quarrel as to whether any officer has exceeded his 
duty. Cases of extreme individual hardship will in all probability 
occur; their frequent occurrence would be a proof of bad manage- 
ment on the part of the Government; a note should be made of 
them for future redress, if immediate redress is impracticable; but 
it would be silly to make pretexts of them for depriving the Govern- 
ment of its necessary discretionary power. 
• 

Now the whole question about the United States is whether 
the powers exercised came under the class thus defined, or whether 
they constituted a permanent encroachment upon popular rights. 
It will be at once admitted that the Constitution has undergone 
whatever change is implied in the establishment by military force 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR S9 

of the doctrine that the United States form, as Webster mam- 
tained, a nation, and not, as Calhoun maintained, a mere Confed- 
eracy resting on a compact. It may be admitted further that the 
centra] power has been strengthened and consolidated by the course 
of events. But we should be slow to admit, without distinct 
proof, that a nation of some twenty millions of English-speaking 
inhabitants, brought up beyond all nations of the world in the habit 
of settling their own affairs, and with an extraordinary aptitude for 
expressing and enforcing the will of the majority, would suffer this 
power to be snatched from their hands; that a people with whom 
newspapers seem to be a spontaneous product of the soil of every 
village should allow the liberty of the press to be tampered with ex- 
cept as a figure of speech; or that a nation distinguished for its 
almost exaggerated tendency to local self-government should allow 
its "liberties to be lost", as a man loses his pocket-handkerchief in 
a crowd. Stump orators might declaim about habeas corpus^ as 
during our own wars Sir F. Burdett talked about Magna Charta, 
or as, before his days, John Wilkes made orations about the British 
jury. But as Englishmen knew in those days that claptrap about 
loss of liberty was nothing but claptrap, Americans knew in our 
time that Mr. Benjamin Wood (whom the Times persistently mis- 
took for a statesman) was as arrant a demagogue as John Wilkes, 
and talked as great nonsense. They were perfectly conscious that 
the war continued because an overwhelming majority wished it to 
continue; and that it was wiser to submit to occasional stretches of 
power than to be squabbling in the face of the enemy as to the exact 
amount of power to be doled out to their leaders; — ^wiser, because 
they were also conscious that they could resume the powers they 
had bestowed. 

To quote language more forcible than my own, that namely of 
the Times itself — (Sept. S, 1864) — ^**There is after all no despotism 
possible in America, except the will of the majority". Lincoln 
and Seward only had power ^'because the mass of the people really 



60 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

believed in the war and were anxious that their leaders should carry 
things with a high hand". I may, perhaps, assume that if any 
despotism had been established, it was not, in September last, vis- 
ible to the naked eye. 

I will now quote a few previous utterances of the Times upon 
this subject; and I will point out the singular theory which they con- 
structed. I must also quote some of the remarks of their New 
York correspondent, by which it was supplemented and enforced. 
That gentleman was, in fact, almost crazy about the loss of liberty. 
I should say, at a guess, that at least half of his whole correspon- 
dence was devoted to proving this loss by argument and illustrative 
stories; and, as his friends belonged to the class most obnoxious to 
the United States Government, he was never at a loss for legends of 
Fort Lafayette. Of their accuracy, I have no means of judging, 
but I should not be inclined to accept without examination all the 
scandals which a Tory in 1776 might have told us about Wash- 
ington; and it is conceivable that Mr. Seward might correct some 
of the anecdotes that appear in the Times. 

The form of this "loss of liberty" which first appeared was the 
expected advent of a Napoleon or a Cromwell. (July 24, 1861.) 
— The Times already augured that a volunteer force was becoming 
a standing army, and as such, "dangerous to liberty". 

Aug. 12, 1861. — ^It annoimced that a military dictator was 
not improbable before twelve months were over; the first definite 
appearance of this mythical individual. A candidate for the post 
soon appeared in the character of General M'Clellan. 

Jan. 29, 1862. — ^It informed us that "the clank of the sabre 
was already heard in the halls of the Legislature". "The Federals 
already feel the weight of an armed hand upon themselves.** 

M'Clellan no more attempted to supplant the President than 
the Duke of Wellington to make himself Emperor of the British 
Isles. The Times^ correspondent, indeed, asserted (Oct. 7, 1862) 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 61 

that "he (M'Clellan) held the twenty millions of the North in the 
palm of his hand'\ and that, "if he thought proper to depose the 
President, or let fall some such words as *Take that bauble away', 
his army would stand by him to the last man", 

M'Clellan was soon afterwards dismissed as quietly as a light- 
house-keeper. The Times was utterly amazed, and even, as it 
seems, annoyed at his forbearance. 

"While M'Clellan", it says (November 24, 1862), "is in his 
camp with his army, surrounded by his friends, late one night a 
missive is put into his hands from a President who seems to have 
lost all influence, and from a Government which is gradually sinkmg 
into contempt, and inmiediately this powerful general lays down 

his command, sinks into a private individual," &c "Is it 

heroic patriotism or disgust, or the absence of ambition, or want of 
pluck, or is it policy?" It could not be that the American people 
were not at the mercy of any military adventurer, for, says the 
Times, "M'Clellan obeys the law, and he appears to be the only 
man in America, who holds the law to be of any force". 

This was a grievous disappointment. Moreover, no other 
general for a long time acquired a su£Sciently prominent position 
to do the Napoleon trick. Even Grant, as we shall find out, was 
beaten in almost every battle down to a certain day in the spring 
of 1865. The Times, however, was convinced that the place was 
ready ; the man was all that was wanting. One or two quotations 
will be sufficient from a multitude. 

/"Evpry republican form of government", as it asserted (Feb. 
2, iBCSjTwith a characteristic affectation of philosophy, "wherever ^ 
found, has either gradually ripened and consolidated into a consti- 
tutional monarcl^ or, which is the commoner result, violently 
merged into absolutism. There is nothing peculiar to Americans 
to arrest the milder process, except a headlong leap into the worse." 



s 



62 THE 'TIMES" 0^ THE AMEBICAN WAR 

March 19, 186S. — ^In another pseudo-philosophical argument 
it asserts, after a deal of fine writing, that the Government at 
Washington are now labouring "not to restore the Union (they 
might as well restore the Heptarchy), but to reconquer what is 
lost, and let the worst come to the worst, to establish a military 
power," or, as its correspondent assured it (April 10, 1863) — for 
his piercing gaze was always discovering things not yet revealed to 
the Americans themselves — ^^*there are many symptoms that this 
military dictatorship is not so remote a contingency as an easy 
public supposes .... The military machine is already constructed; 
it only waits for the hardy engineer; the liberty of Federal America 
will be a tale that is told." 

By May 27 the despotism was in existence, for "should peace 
be established", we are told, "the question would remain to be 
tried whether the Government of the United States should per- 
manently become, what it undoubtedly now is, a military despot- 
ism," America being, it appears, "about to offer the last vestige of 
her liberties at the shrine of that Moloch of slaughter and devas- 
tation" (a playful term for Mr. Lincoln), "which they have set up 
to reign over them". 

The same gentleman had perhaps put this in the pithiest form 
(Sept. 22, 1862): "Were there half a Cromwell or a quarter of a 
Bonaparte, this overthrow" (of the Government) "would be the 
easy result of a coup d*itaf\ 

It is curious after this to find the Times saying, in the autumn 
of 1864, that a despotism is impossible in America. It still, how- 
ever, clung to the idea. The Southern correspondent furnished 
us with a sketch of Sherman's character for the express reason that 
he was not unlikely to become the Cromwell of the future. 

When Mr. Lincoln died, the Times expressed a hope that Mr. 
Johnson might in some way be induced to resign. "The influ- 
ences", it said (April 19), "by which he is surrounded cannot be 



THE 'TDfES'* ON THE AMERICAN WAR 6S 

favourable to his retention of office. Grant and Sherman are both 
in or near Washington", and neither they nor Stanton can wish to 
see their labours thrown away. 

This hint was thrown away. Sherman, having exceeded his 
orders, instantly obeyed, as he could not but obey, the authority of 
the President, and General Grant has shown no more signs of being 
a Cromwell than did M'Clellan. In short, strongly as the Times 
seems to have expected, and even desired, the advent of a military 
dictator, the military dictator never made his appearance. 

V^^^JPie despotism, however, against which the Times most stead- 
ily inveighed was that of Mr. Lincoln and his Cabinet^ I could 
not, without doubling the size of this pamphlet, give any adequate 
impression of the virulence, persistence, and energy with which it 
repeated the assertion that Lincoln was a despot. It seemed to 
cling to this as the one possible explanation of the war. I will 
quote a few specimens, but they no more give an idea of the whole 
than a bucketful of water gives an idea of a lake. Incessant al- 
lusions to the loss of liberty fill up all the spaces — often large 
enough — between their arguments, and show, if my views are just, 
the curious distortion of their opinions. They mistook a tempo- 
rary and collateral effect of the war for a real cause; and because 
the North entrusted full powers to their servants, fancied that the 
servants were the masters, and a slavish compliance with their 
wishes the real incitement of the war. 

Sept. 12, 1861. — The Times "says nothing" of the sacrifice 
of free institutions, the surrender of individual liberty, the estab- 
lishment of the futile precautions of a despotism, the abolition of 
the habeas corpus ^ the suppression of papers, the imprisonment of 
ladies, and certainly nothing of gentlemen being ridden out of 
town on a rail. 

Sept. 6, 1862. — "Is a nation wise which embraces ruin and 
slaughter for the present in order to consolidate a government of 



64 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

terror and repression for the future? Domiciliary visits and mid* 
night arrests, without crime, and without an accuser, are present 
to every one's mind". 

Sept. 16. — ^**There is not one tenth part of the liberty of 
opinion and discussion in America which exists in Republican 
France''. 

Oct. 28. — ^**To be suspect of being suspect is good cause for 

incarceration in North America If the Republicans win 

(the election), the war will go on for some time longer under the 
protection of a reign of terror". 

They entertain some hopes, however, for (November 8, 1862) 
they cannot but expect a Democratic victory, as "a brilliant des* 
potism may blind a nation for a time, but a Government that is at 
once stupid and tyrannical cannot long avert its own overthrow" • 

June 18, 1863. — The conscription was the one thing wanting 
to make the Government a centralized military despotism. "The 
State organization will be dissolved. The Federal organization of 
the Republic will be destroyed. Bare and naked force will be set 
up as the only title to obedience and the only symbol of command." 

Aug. S. — ^Absolute power is probable. The issue (as between 
the Government and Vallandigham) is an issue between liberty 
and despotism. "Whatever the President wills is law." "The 
interests of the North are almost identical with those of the South"; 
"both are in danger of subjugation at the hands of a third power," 
— namely, the Federal Government. 

Aug. 28. — ^The Constitution is being "rapidly moulded into 
a form which will make them in practice the greatest military des- 
potism that the world has ever seen". 

Nov. 28. — The main object of thanksgiving (Mr. Lincoln 
having absurdly supposed that the victories of Gettysburg, Vicks- 
burg, and others, in the summer of 1868, deserved thanksgiving) 



THE 'TDfES^' ON THE AMERICAN WAR «5 

should be that, in such hands as Lincohi's, the State has hitherto 
escaped total destruction. "Personal liberty is gone; the Govern- 
ment rules by virtue of the army, which, unable to conquer the 
South, has an easy triumph over the laws and liberties of the North* 
We admit the Government to be, for the moment, "strong, but re- 
fuse to believe that its strength is the result of that individual free- 
dom which it has been its principal occupation to destroy". 

May 11, 1864. — "The only freemen now are those that fight 
in the war, or make their fortunes out of it." 

Nov. 16. — ^Martial law has been declared wherever there is a 
force sufficient to control the elections. "Every scholar has won- 
dered at the fatal rapidity with which the Roman Republic ripened 
or rotted into an empire; but this is, in sober fact, the process we 
now see across ttie Atlantic." 

Nov. ii.-\^e can regard his (Lincoln's) reappointment as 
little less than the abdication by the American people of the right 
of self-govemmen^as an avowed step towards the foundation of 
military despotism; towards the suppression of a popular Govern- 
ment which may still exist in form, but which, in substance, has 
gone. Future historians will probably date from the second pres- 
idency of Mr. Lincoln, the period when the American Constitu- 
tion was thoroughly abrogated, and had entered on that transition 
state well known to the students of history, through which repub- 
lics pass on their way from democracy to tyranny". 

Feb. 28, • 1865. — "Republican institutions are rapidly becom- 
ing imperial in almost all but the name". 

K any reliance can be placed upon the Timesy a consolidated 
military despotism now exists, and has for some time existed, in 
America. It has indeed this strange peculiarity, that, except in 
the suspension of the habeas corpus and the various arbitrary im- 
prisonments which have been the consequence, it has committed 
no overt acts. The Constitutions of the several States remain in 



66 THE -TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

force, and are daily working much as before; the Constitution of 
the United States is unaltered, except by an impending amend- 
ment for the abolition of slavery. It is true, as I have before re- 
marked, that one theory of the relations of the Central to the State 
powers has been set up by force of arms; but it is a theory held at 
all times by many of the best American statesmen and in no way 
incompatible with liberty. If the foul demon of despotism has 
indeed entered into the body of a free people, it must be admitted 
that that body, to external observation, moves about and has its 
being very much as it has of old. Surely it is incumbent upon those 
who make such reckless assertions to adduce some proof of their 
accuracy, to point to some undeniable symptoms of the terrible 
disease which is secretly corrupting the Constitution. The line 
between liberty and despotism is not, as Englishmen ought to 
know, so fine and impalpable that it requires wire-drawn argumen- 
tation and delicate analytical processes to discover whether a 
country is free or enslaved. When Cromwell or Napoleon had 
seized the supreme authority it was felt, and heard, and seen; there 
was no room for doubt upon the subject; there was no doubt about 
it, I may add, when Butler governed New Orleans. At every turn 
you were met by the unmistakable strong arm of military force. 
It wants no more argument to prove that a negro is a slave than 
that he has woolly hair and blubber lips. Now the North are con- 
scious that they are free, and that the war was carried on because 
and so long as they chose that it should be carried on. The small 
minority who objected had necessarily to suflFer the unpleasant 
fate of seeing their country fighting in what they believed to be a 
wrong and foolish quarrel. Individuals might for the time suflFer 
from the authority necessarily entrusted to rulers, and, doubtless, 
often foolishly exercised; but, now that the war is over, even the 
Times will hardly dare to assert that the North are not a free people. 
Indeed, the shallowness of its conviction to the contrary is strik- 
ingly proved by the passage I have quoted from September 3, 1864, 
that ''there is no despotism possible in America". Had the des- 



THE 'TDIES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 67 

potism existed except as a mere figment of its imagination preserved 
in fictitious vitality as a useful taunt, such an assertion at such a 
time would have been impossible ; it would have been as hard as for 
a doctor to assert that a patient in the last stage of consumption, 
when he had been for many months under his treatment, had per- 
fectly sound lungs, so sound as to be incapable of disease. If the 
burden of proof were thrown upon me, I could point to the dis- 
bandment of armies as unlike a military despotism — ^to the immed- 
iate and almost precipitate eflFort at "reconstruction" as hardly 
like a complete oblivion of popular government; I might point to 
a free press, which, even during the heat of the war, when the ad- 
ministration was strongest, incessantly attacked it with a bitter- 
ness rivalling the bitterness of the Times j and which would have 
been permitted in no country on the continent of Europe; and to 
the constant discussion and decision of every political principle by 
the people in every comer of the land^^^-x^ut I don*t wish to spend 
time upon proving that the sun shine^^ must endeavour to show 
how the Times endeavoured to make out that all the external ap- 
pearances of self-government were in reality delusive; that whilst 
the patient seemed to be walking and talking as freely as a man well 
could who had so tremendous a task to perform, he was really 
gagged and tied hand and footT 




If a despotism "in any other sense'*, as the Times says, "than 
a despotism of the majority", should ever be forced upon America, 
it would have two tasks to perform. It would have to corrupt the 
elections, and it would have to support itself by an army alien in 
sympathy from the people. Under these conditions a Govern- 
ment might be set up which did not fairly represent the popular 
will, and might be maintained in defiance of it. 

The Times made, as I will now show, an attempt to prove that 
each of these methods had been adopted. 



68 THE 'TIMES" ON TBE AMERICAN WAR 

X. — ^The Instruments of Despotism 

ALTHOUGH, as I have said, the Times occasionally threw out 
hints, rather than positive assertions, that the elections were 
fictitious and enforced under military terror, this opinion was 
so slightly founded on fact (I speak, of course, of the Northern 
States) as to be generally left to the New York correspondent. 
His occasional statements, coinciding with general declamations 
in the Times leaders about "military despotism", tended to com- 
plete the picture; but I do not find that the Times often gave them 
the weight of its own authority. I will give a couple of instances. 
The elections in the autumn of 1863 were of considerable interest, 
and gave large majorities to the Republicans. Vallandigham was 
the* candidate for Governor in Ohio. 

March 11, 1863. — The correspondent asserted that the Re- 
publican party, always a minority and now desperate, were en- 
deavouring to subjugate their own countrymen. The Conscrip- 
tion Act was intended to supply a force to hold down the States 
during the approaching election for the Presidency. The con- 
scripts of each State will be sent to do duty in States with the people 
of which they have no sympathy. (October 13.) He announced 
that Vallandigham's election was to be prevented, if necessary, by 
getting up disturbances and then proclaiming martial law. 

I need not say that martial law was not declared nor Vallan- 
digham elected. At this time the "special correspondent", whom 
I have already mentioned, was in the United States and present at 
Cincinnati. Although unfriendly on the whole to the Northern 
cause, he says positively (October 31) there were but a dozen or a 
score of policemen at each polling-place. The public authorities 
nowhere interfered. "I saw soldiers nowhere, Irish bullies nowhere, 
nowhere an attempt — I will not say to force — but even to solicit 
a vote.'* 

*Democraticas"oopperhead." 



THE 'TIMES'' ON THE AMEBICAN WAR 89 

Meanwhile, the New York correspondent was writing (Oct. 
SO) vague assertions about greenbacks, and the threats of provost- 
marshals. It was well that this time he had a brother correspon- 
dent actually on the spot to contradict him flatly. 

The most important election was that at which Mr. Lincoln 
was elected for the second time. The Times asserted (November 
16, 1864), that martial law had been proclaimed wherever there 
was a force sufficient to control the elections. After the elections 
— ^that is, after receiving the news of the election — ^the Times 
never ventured for a moment to repeat this assertion. Indeed, it 
is expressly admitted (December SI, 1864), that Mr. Lincoln was 
the bond fide choice of the nation. 

One curious circumstance about the election was, that the 
New York correspondent made an apology for a mis-statement, the 
only instance that I have found of his so doing, and confessed un- 
reservedly (January 9, 1865) that he had been mistaken in as- 
serting that General Dix had ordered military occupation of polling 
places on the frontier. The fact was, as he admitted, that General 
Dix had occupied certain posts to guard against raids from Canada, 
but had withdrawn the forces before the day of the election. One 
more remark may be added on this subject. The Times had, for a 
long time, looked upon the Chicago platform, that upon which 
General M'Clellan was nominated, as a proof of a return of Amer- 
icans to reasonable — ^that is, to peace — principles. So strongly 
did it hold this, that it (September 14, 1864) compared some of 
Sherman's battles near Atlanta to the Battle of Toulouse, fought 
after peace was declared — a blunder into which it was, as usual, 
led by the confident assertions of its correspondent. The Demo- 
crats, whose principles were represented on that platform, were a 
minority of the whole nation. Now (September 26, 1864) the 
Times confessed that this platform was a complete failure, because 
it was an attempt to combine war and peace Democrats; that is, 
the majority even of the Democratic party were in favour of war. 



70 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

though of a war carried on upon different principles. As the Re- 
publicans were unanimously in favour of war, it follows that an 
overwhelming majority of the whole American people were, on the 
showing of the Times itself, in favour of continuing the war so late 
as the autumn of 1864. Hence the hypothesis that the war was 
the act of the Government, or, as the New York correspondent 
says, of a desperate minority forcing it upon their countrymen, 
becomes absurd. No one will probably now deny that the election 
of Mr. Lincoln expressed what was, however, foolish, the settled 
decision of the American people. 

The attempt to prove that the army was one suited for a des- 
potic power was far more persistently carried on. It was not, in- 
deed, merely for this reason that we were so constantly informed 
that the Federal army consisted of Irish and Germans. It was an 
inviting topic of abuse for many reasons, and of all the misrepre- 
sentations that were so common, none, as I believe, not even that 
vast and complicated misrepresentation which ignored the rela- 
tions of slavery to the war, did so much to excite English prejudices 
as this story about the Irish and Germans. There is an ambiguity 
about this subject which must be shortly stated. There were in 
America, by the census of 1860, over 4,000,000 inhabitants of for- 
eign birth— including, Irish 1,600,000; Germans 1,300,000; and 
English and Scotch 540,000 — ^more than 3,500,000 of whom were in 
the North. Now these naturalized citizens, who had emigrated in 
the bond fide intention of settling in the United States before the 
first shot had been fired, were undoubtedly as much justified in 
fighting for the country of their adoption as the native Americans. 
They might even be expected to enlist in greater proportion than 
the native population, because they would naturally furnish more 
of that floating class from which the armies of all countries are 
chiefly recruited. The real accusation was, that the American 
armies were supplied by persons emigrating from Europe with a 
view to this very purpose. 



THE ••TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 71 

In this case, again, the accusation is in one respect trivial 
enough. It is a favourite taunt of the Times (see, for example, 
July 4, 1862, and May 21 and July 4, 1863), that whereas the 
Americans used to complain of our employment of Hessian troops 
in the war of Independence, they now use foreigners themselves. 
This comes with a rather bad grace from a nation which raised a 
foreign legion so lately as in the Crimean war. It implies a total 
misrepresentation of the true grounds of complaint. No one would 
have complained of our enlisting Germans, or Frenchmen, or any 
other foreigners in our regiments; and, in fact, I presume that no 
questions were asked as to the nationality of a recruit. But that 
which covered the German princes with an infamy which we shared 
to some extent was, that they sold their regiments to us wholesale 
without asking their consent. If an Irishman likes to exchange 
potatoes in a Connaught cabin for the good fare and comfortable 
clothing of a Federal soldier, balanced by the chance of being shot, 
he may or may not show want of sense, but there is no hardship 
in the case. If we had sold a regiment of Irishmen, or if the King 
of Prussia had sold a regiment of Germans, to either side, for money 
to be paid to the proprietor of the regiment, there would have been 
infamy enough. Happily we are too civilized for such transactions 
to be possible. The Times carefully ignored the distinction. 

It would, however, be a proof that the American people were 
not enthusiastic about the war, and that a fit instrument of bondage 
was being framed for them, if it could be proved that the army was 
kept up by immigration, and not by recruits from the native pop- 
ulation. The Times repeatedly asserted, or insinuated, that this 
was the case. I quote a few instances : — 

So early as July 30, 1861, it speaks of "a standing army in 
which Germans and Irish are counted by the thousand". 

July 26, 1862. — ^**The army is to a very great extent a foreign 
army, being composed of German and Irish mercenaries; and the 



72 THE -TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

native Americans who have joined them belong to no very respec- 
table class/* 

Six weeks before this it had observed incidentally (June 4) 
that "every New England family has its representative in the 
field*' — ^a statement which was strongly confirmed by the special 
correspondent a year after. 

August 26, however, it tells us again that, as the conscription 
will induce all foreigners to leave the States (we shall presently see 
the fulfillment of the prognostication), "we shall now see American 
citizens fighting their own battles, without the aid of German and 
Irish mercenaries". 

Dec. 80. — ^^*Their men are for the most part mere hirelings; 
the refuse of Ireland and Germany has been swept into their camps 
at so many dollars a head." 

June 18, 1863. — ^It speaks of the willingness of the Americans 
to undergo all extremities, "so long as the physical suffering is 
borne by Irish and Germans and the pecuniary by the public 
creditor". 

July 4. — The United States Government are "sending to in- 
discriminate slaughter myriads of German and Irish mercenaries. 

Aug. 8. — What does the Washington Cabinet care "how many 
graves are dug round Fort Wagner or how many regiments of Irish 
and German emigrants monthly disappear?" 

Before continuing my quotations from the Times I will give 
one or two passages from the New York correspondent. This 
question placed that gentleman in a curious dilemma. He was 
constantly endeavouring to prove that it would be impossible to 
raise an army, and that, for various reasons, no more Germans or 
Irish would volunteer. On the other hand, he was always proving 
that the whole army was composed of Germans and Irishmen. The 
result is sometimes perplexing, and appears to have bewildered his 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 78 

employers. Prospectively, no Germans nor Irish were to be found; 
retrospectively, the army consisted of nothing else. It was indeed 
impossible to understand how, upon his showing, it was kept up at 
all. 

June SO, 1862. — He tells us that the Yankees have contrib- 
uted little to the rank and file of the Federal army; Irish and Ger- 
mans form at least two-fifths of the whole number of fighting men. 

July 27. — ^With amusing precision, he says, to show the ab- 
sence of loyalty, that the North can only obtain thirty-nine seamen 
from all the New England States. 

Sept. 16. — ^It appears that the armies are kept up by wretched 
emigrants drugged with whisky, who ^'wake up only to find them- 
selves in the Northern camp, liable if they skedaddle to be shot as 
deserters". 

Feb. .21, 1863. — ^We have another careful numerical calcu- 
lation proving that there are only 32,830 able-bodied negroes in 
the free States, that as the Government won't dare to recruit in 
the border States, and can't get at the South, enough negro troops 
can never be raised. (Fifteen months afterwards. May 12, 1864, 
he tells us that there are 130,000 negroes in the service, 97,670 
having, I presume, been manufactured.) 

June 15. — He proves that it is impossible to raise 10,000 ne- 
groes. 

I have taken these specimens at random from an immense 
number as indicating the general tone of the New York correspon- 
dent. He generally maintains that negroes can't be got, that 
Yankees won't volunteer, and that the armies are composed of 
Irish and Germans, though, as we shall now see, he frequently 
states that Irish and Germans are equally recusant. The contin- 
ual existence of the army seems to be all but miraculous. Up to 
this point, however, the Times and its correspondent agree in as- 



74 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

serting the absence of native material from the United States army, 
and agree in filling in the void by any number of Germans and Irish. 

Aug. 25, 186S. — The Times made the calculation, an ex- 
tremely rough one, that 750,000 men had been killed or put hots de 
combat up to that time on the two sides. And as it allowed 500, 
000 of these to the North, it came to the conclusion that the "bulk 
of the German and Irish complained of by the South must have 
been naturalized American citizens" — a tolerably reasonable con- 
clusion, though founded upon doubtful figures and contradicting 
its own repeated insinuations. 

Oct. 9. — The correspondent, however, informs us that "the 
zeal of the native-bom Americans has died away, the unwelcome 
business is left to raw newcomers from Germany and Ireland" — a 
statement which brings back our old friends again. 

Perhaps the assertion that the army was composed of foreign 
elements might be gradually coming true, though it had not been 
true at first. The original troops may have been native, the re- 
cruits foreign. 

Dec. 12. — He explains again that the army could not be kept 
up were it not for the Irish and German immigrants and negroes; 
the latter especially, he says, will constitute the sheet-anchor of the 
future American army. (Compare the quotations above from 
February 21 and June 15.) 

Jan. 23, 1864. — ^He declares that no more men are to be got. 
The foreign immigration would only produce 156,000 men, even if 
all were able-bodied, whereas at least fifty per cent were children, 
women, and old men; three hundred thousand are required. 

May S, 1864. — ^However, the Times states that the waste of 
men is supported by immigration attracted by large bounties, and 
carefully explains how the "surplus population of Europe" is at- 
tracted. 



THE "TIMES'' ON THE AMERICAN WAS 75 

April 18. — ^The correspondent says that the North would 
long ago have been subdued but for the help of foreigners, but that 
now the Irish and Germans are in a state of chronic discontent, and 
won't volunteer. 

After all this, it is not a little surprising to find a demonstration 
in the Times itself, that the immigration theory is all a mistake. A 
debate took place in Parliament upon the Irish emigration. In 
commenting upon it, the Times says (June 11, 1864), that Grant 
alone has 280,000 white troops, that the Irish emigration of 1863 
was 94,477, of whom 36,083 only were men, including boys of 
twelve years old. It concludes, "With such figures before us, it is 
impossible to assume that either German or Irish emigrants up to 
the present time form any large element in the American armies. 
Eighty per cent, of these troops must have been Americans, native 
or naturalized." 

After this statement, it would be reasonable to suppose that 
the Times would apologize. But the Tim^s never apologizes, it 
simply reverses its statements. 

July 2. — ^It boldly declared that Grant's army was kept up by 
'*an incredible immigration from Europe''. 

As the Times had so plainly proved that the immigration of 
1863 was utterly inadequate to fill the ranks, I may remark that 
the immigration at New York (the principal port for immigration) 
only increased from 155,000 in 1863 to 185,000 in 1864.— an ample 
proof that this 'incredible immigration" was a mere invention of 
the Times. It continued the old taunts. 

Aug. 2. — ^**It is felt to be quite a pity not to go on with a war 
the worst consumption of which can be supplied from the old 
world." 

The correspondent (August 13) throws some light upon the 
"incredible immigration". "The average volunteers", he tells us, 




76 THE 'TIBIES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

"inclusive of Irish and Germans, scarcely exceed thirty a day'*. 
The more one looks into this warlike stream of immigrants, the 
harder it is to distinguish it. Finally, the Times itself came out 
with the most conclusive exposure of its own errors. 

February 21, 1865. — ^After giving the numbers raised for the 
Federal army, it remarks with amusing complacency, "We have 
repeatedly explained that inmiigration would only account for a 
small fraction of these results. Even if every adult male immigrant 
took service in the Federal army immediately upon landing, the 
supply would only form a very moderate percentage on the levies 
raised", and it is notoriously true that nothing of the kind took 
place. There is something truly surprising about this. The 
Daily News or the Star might have quoted the same statistics to 
prove the falsehood of the incessant taunts of the Times. The 
Herald or Standard^ accepting as an axiom that everything Amer- 
ican is abominable, would in honest bigotry have thrown doubt 
upon the figures or roundly denied their accuracy. It was pecu- 
liar to the Times to give at once the calumny and its refutation with 
an air of unruffled dignity.* 

The statement that the military despotism was supported by 
mock elections in the Northern States may be considered as tacitly 
abandoned. Had any proofs been at hand capable of raising a 
presumption that the very sources of self-government were thus 
being poisoned, the Times might have been trusted to adduce them. 
We may then assume that, notwithstanding the existence of the 
ordinary, or more than the ordinary, corruption, the electors sub- 
stantially expressed the will of the people. 

The theory that the military despotism was upheld by a foreign 
army is refuted, as well as asserted, by the Times itself. The 
notion that "conscripts from each State would be quartered in 

*I have not been able to find any official statement as to the extent of the foreign ele- 
ment in the American armies; but it is said, on good authority, to be about five per cent; 
that of naturalized being fifteen per cent; and that of native Americans eighty per cent of 
the whole strength. 



THE 'TIMES*' ON THE AMERICAN WAR 77 

States with which they had no sympathies'' is an amusing instance 
of the readiness of the New York correspondent to swallow the 
most unbounded fictions. 

One other theory remains — ^that the despotism corrupted the 
people by greenbacks; and on this, as it was a favourite opinion, 
and one which, so far as I know, was never definitely abandoned, 
I must say a few words. I will quote one or two assertions from 
the Times. 

Feb. 8, 1862. — ^**It is pretty clear now that war is kept up by 
a fictitious public enthusiasm, founded upon squandering among 
the small class of political contractors and agitators two million 
dollars a day." 

Jan. 18. — "It seems that the war is carried on partly from reck- 
less fanaticism", and partly "to glut the avarice of a few obscure 
persons". 

Jan. 20, 1863. — ^**The People have turned the war into a 
scramble for profits; the army of public banditti have won a full 
and decisive victory in the field for gain." 

I need not quote any of the incessant assertions to the same 
effect of the New York correspondent, who was never so happy 
as when proving that Northern patriotism meant a lust for green- 
backs, and Northern Abolitionism was a mixture of hypocrisy and 
fanaticism. The theory of the Times took a slightly different form 
at a later period of the war. It believed in the existence of what 
it called a "fictitious prosperity", and was not a little perplexed to 
account for its extraordinary duration. The bubble would not 
burst long after the Times had declared that it inevitably must. 

Thus (Nov. 28, 1868) we are told that "the factitious creation 
of wealth by reckless issues of paper money, and the equally reck- 
less reduction of the available amount of labour by fearful slaughter 
of the working classes in civil war, may raise the rate of wages, and 



78 THDE 'TIMES" ON TBE AMERICAN WAE 

SO tempt to emigrate the inhabitants of populous countries. These 
things give little hope for the future prospects of a country that 
really seems to verify the paradox of the poet, Vhere (paper) 
wealth accumulates and men decay' ". 

On December 14, 186S, it expresses its amazement at the 
duration of a fictitious prosperity which an inflated currency and a 
prodigal expenditure are sure to produce for the time. 

I believe that on the strength of these and similar statements 
many persons in England seriously believed that the war was car- 
ried on because, by some strange commercial hocus-pocus, it paid, 
or seemed to pay, for itself. It was a kind of Law's scheme, stim- 
ulated and accompanied by a war. There are some men who will 
always gladly believe that great results can be accomplished by 
petty motives — men who would once have delighted to explain the 
French Revolution by the gold of Pitt, or the American war of in- 
dependence by speculations in tea. This explanation of the war 
would be congenial to them. A great revolution worked out by in- 
ferior instruments, a tremendous convulsion of a society composed 
in overwhelming proportions of half -educated and half -refined men, 
must infallibly bring to the surface much that is shocking to deli- 
cate tastes. There were chances of profit for the large class, no- 
where larger than in America, to whom even national honour would 
afford mere matter of speculation. In a struggle which shook 
society to its base, there was good scrambling for high prizes. But 
it is scarcely characteristic of a generous or of a philosophical 
mind, to mistake the profit incidentally arising to stock-jobbers and 
shoddy manufacturers for the cause of the whole struggle. Na- 
tions are moved to their depths, and efforts which would strain the 
most unbounded resources are stimulated, by deeper and less 
grovelling motives than the hope of picking up a few dollars in the 
confusion. A battle, doubtless, is a good thing for the crows and 
the creeping things, but it is not generally fought for their benefit. 
The theory, stated plainly, confutes itself so conclusively that I 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 79 

need scarcely point out that its political economy presents a few 
difficulties. Perhaps this may be due to the fact that» as the Times 
put it (June 24» 1862), ''the world is not large enough to hold'' 
political economy and the United States "together* \ I can under- 
stand a "fictitious prosperity" produced by borrowing other 
people's money; but the American debt was raised at home almost 
entirely. I can understand that "fictitious prosperity" which ac- 
companies a great inflation of credit, and a consequent increase of 
circulation, and which lasts until persons have begun to realize. 
But credit has not been inflated in the United States; the paper 
currency has produced its natural effect in the rise of prices; and 
so soon as that effect commenced, the Yankee was quite acute 
enough to discover that his paper dollar was worth less than his 
silver dollar. A fictitious prosperity of this kind lasting for four 
years is simply incredible. The fact that it has not long ago col- 
lapsed is proof enough that the prosperity, such as it was, was 
really due to great resources, not to imaginary wealth. The simple 
truth is, that turning capital from other industries into the pro- 
duction of divers machines for blowing men to bits, does not tend 
to make a country richer, or even to make itself richer for any 
length of time. Even the receipt of killing off a large proportion of 
the able-bodied males would not necessarily cause such a rise of 
wages as to add to the general prosperity of the country. Widows 
and orphans are apt to make their presence known. 

Granting, however, that there was some truth caricatured in 
these statements, it is plain enough, from one simple consideration, 
that they do not reveal a true cause of the continuance of the war. 
The centres of the "shoddy" interest were the places most opposed 
to the policy of the Administration, such as the city of New York. 
That policy was most unflinchingly supported by tJie country dis- 
tricts of the "territorial democracy", where the drain of labour and 
the rise of prices were most severely felt, and to which the con. 
tractors' profits never penetrated. 



^ 




80 TBE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

XI. — ^MiUTARY Criticism 

HAVE endeavoured to show that the Times gave a preposter- 
ous caricature of the origin of the war, of its effect upon the 
country, and of the means by which it was maintained. The 
prejudice which denied the war to be in any way related to slavery, 
and which denied that it was leading to any result but a military 
despotism, led to an equal distortion of the facts of the war^ I 
shall endeavour to illustrate this by giving a short sunmiary of the 
Times* account of the last year of the war. I may remark that any 
one who believes in the impartiality of the Times would do well to 
compare these articles with an extremely able series which ap- 
peared in the Globe — a paper not favourable to the North, but quite 
above the folly of distorting the facts of the war. 

The fortunes of the Confederacy culminated in the spring of 
1863. In the East, General Lee was able to make his most deter- 
mined effort at an invasion of the North. In the West, Grant was 
detained for months before Vicksburg, and a long delay produced 
in the otherwise almost uniform progress of the Federal arms in the 
Western States. The battle of Gettysburg and the taking of 
Vicksburg, which occurred on the 4th of July, marked the turn of 
the tide. In the autumn, Rosecrans cleared Tennessee and ad- 
vanced to Chattanooga. He was severely defeated at Chicka- 
mauga, but the fortunes of the North were restored by Grant's 
victory on Missionary Ridge. At the close of 186S the Northern 
side was distinctly in the ascendant. In 1864, as we all remember. 
Grant fought the desperate series of battles which resulted in the 
siege of Petersburg. Sherman forced his way to Atlanta and 
thence to the Atlantic coast. The series of victories under which 
the Confederacy collapsed are fresh in our memories. Let me now 
giye the Times* account of these events. 

The Times (July 9, 1863) had explained, on Lee's invasion, 
that there was a general wish throughout the North that President 



THE "TIMES** ON THE AMERICAN WAR 81 

Davis might instal himself at Washington. Even after the arrival 
of the decisive news (July 18, 186S)it declared Meade to be in danger 
and Grant in a hopeless position. (July 93.) — It could still see no 
reason for the Northern exultation. (July 27.) — ^The news being 
beyond question, it observed that "Lee had only been prevented by 
three days' bloody fighting from obtaining important military suc- 
cesses'* — a circumlocution which may compare with the ingenious 
formulae about "strategic movements", and "drawing a man fur- 
ther from his base". The New York riots, however, proved that 
"the hopelessness of the (Northern) enterprise is never more evident 
than at the time when it seems most promising". This consoling 
reflection was strengthened by Morgan's raid into Ohio, which, it 
may be recollected, ended in the capture of Morgan and all his men. 
In November, Mr. Lincoln had the bad taste to call for a public 
thanksgiving. The Times was astonished. "It is", it remarked^ 
"simply absurd to say that the condition of the South is worse, 
relatively to the North, than it was at the beginning of the war". 

It had been encouraged by Rosecrans' defeat at Chickamauga 
and temporary confinement at Chattanooga. Having entirely 
forgotten the existence of Grant's army — ^part of which, under 
Sherman, reinforced the army at Chattanooga with decisive effect 
— it announced (November 10) that "Thomas's success" (Thomas 
was then in command at Chattanooga) "depends upon his union 
with Bumside" (then at Knoxville); "he cannot expect considerable 
reinforcements from any other quarter". By "success" it explains 
that it means escape from surrender. (November 14.) — ^It an- 
nounces that "the best that can be expected from the invaders of 
Tennessee is to be spared a ruinous and ignominious retreat". The 
campaign of 1868 has ended leaving matters in the same state as 
in the beginning. (November 28.) — The Northern forces in the 
West are in exactly the same state as those of the English at York- 
town and Saratoga. "It will be an extraordinary instance of good 
fortune if Grant is able to rescue" Bumside. Grant defeated 



82 THE 'TDdXS'' ON THE ABfERICAN WAB 

Bragg, as I have observed, at Missionary Ridge. The Times, 
however, in summing up results, observed (December 14) that the 
Federals had in this year "gained the one real victory of the war. 
We can hardly describe by that name the success of Grant against 
Bragg, but Gettysburg was a pitched battle fairly won/* 

To explain this assertion about one of the most decided and 
skillfully planned victories of the war, I must remark that the 
TimeSy like its sporting contemporaries, kept a private proph^, 
one "S". This gentleman was always prophesying with signal 
want of success, as his prophecies were simply renewed applications 
of one single dogma, viz., that the more territory the North con- 
quered the more they would have to keep (which is undeniable), 
and therefore the harder it would be to keep it (which does not 
follow). This prophet had assured the Times (on December 11) 
that Bragg was in the act of falling back when Grant attacked him, 
that there was nothing in the nature of a pitched battle, and that 
everything depended upon the struggle at Knoxville. The Tim£s 
apparently considered "S." as a military critic of some skill, to 
judge from the space which they assgned to his letters, and their 
frequent coincidence with his opinions. The taking of Vicksburg 
was not to be counted in the list of victories, I presume, because, 
as the Times occasionally pointed out, the Confederates could com- 
mand other points on the Mississippi. 

At the commencement of 1864 the North were therefore in a 
bad way. 

Feb. 17. — The North have only kept up their armies by the 
help of negroes and foreigners. "Longstreet has been entirely 
successful in his operations round Knoxville." (He did not take 
it, but that, of course, is a trifle.) The Confederates have met 
their enemy at every point. Hence, we are not surprised to hear 
that (May 3) the "'present prospects of the Confederates at this 
fourth year of the war are brighter than ever". 



TBE "TIMES' ON TBE AlCEBICAN WAR 8S 

The great operations of 1864 now began, Grant assaulting the 
right and Sherman the left of the long Confederate line. In both 
quarters the Confederates retired, in obedience to a preconcerted 
plan. Thus (May 24) Lee's falling back was ^'preconcerted''. 
(June 3.) — ^^'The latest news prepares us for the complete failure of 
Grant's expedition". Johnston's retreat before Sherman **may 
have been a preconcerted plan to draw Sherman away from his 
base of operations". As for Grant, it appeared presently (June 7) 
that ''it is hard enough to get to Richmond"; it will be still harder 
to discover when they (the Federals) get there what they have 
gained by the enterprise, which has cost them such enormous sac- 
rifices. (June 8.) — ^**We recognize the truth of President Davis's 
saying", that Virginia alone could hold out twenty years after the 
fall of Richmond". 

Every successive move of Grant's was a failure. (July 2) — 
Every move in this campaign "has been made because the former 
manoeuvre failed". Lee "did not deign to interrupt Grant's flank 
march". Grant persevered or, as the Times put it (August 81), 
"still hovered about Richmond". Some relief to the dismal pros- 
pect was given by Sheridan's victory in the Shenandoah Valley; 
but this (October S) was of more importance politically than in a 
military sense. Sheridan's success must have been valueless; for, 
as the Times observes (December 2), Sherman's taking of Atlanta 
is the chief Federal achievement of the year, and that is likely to 
end in disaster. 

Sept. 15. — Grant's campaign had, as "S." assured them, "so 
completely broken down as almost to have passed from attention", 
as in fact might be expected from a previous assertion of "S" that 
"Grant was as much a general as Tom Sayers" (June 6); M'Clellan 
having "shown clearly enough the way to take Richmond," where- 
as Grant, "with a rare obliquity of judgment", had taken "a road 
difficult beyond all others, and through country special unprom- 
ising". "S" doubtless knew Grant's and M'Clellan's business 



84 THE "TDdES'' ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

better than Grant and M'Clellan themselves, for he had pooh- 
poohed the former pretender to military science in ahnost the same 
terms. "M'Clellan", he said (May 5, 1862) "has taken the worst 
possible means of advancing on Richmond". In obedience to this 
great authority, the Tinus asserted (November 7, 1864) the "one 
principle of Federal warfare" to be to give away two Federals, five 
Federals, ten Federals for a "single Confederate life", and Grant 
blundered on from failure to failure, unconscious, it must be hoped, 
that he was acting in defiance of the Times^ criticisms. 

Meanwhile, Sherman was being drawn farther from his base • 
(July 7.) — ^If Grant were repulsed, Sherman must be overwhelmed 
Sherman managed to struggle on, and at last threatened Atlanta. 
The Times announced (August 8) that Atlanta was in danger. The 
value of the success was measurable by the assertion that the cap- 
ture of the arsenal might compensate the North for the invasion of 
Maryland. Sherman, however, was in serious danger, which be- 
came gradually more alarming. (September 12.) — ^He has man- 
aged to get into Atlanta, but will probably be cut off. Although 
(September 20) his campaign contrasts favourable with Grant's, 
the value of the prize is doubtful. Indeed (September 22) it is 
proved to be almost valueless by the fact that he did not attack the 
enemy's intrenchments only six miles off. His danger became 
gradually imminent. Atlanta (November 10) was really of no 
importance. Indeed (November 12), "the barren victory in the 
Shenandoah Valley was all the Federals had to boast of in the 
autumn", for Sherman's position was rapidly becoming untenable. 
(December 2.) — ^As I have before observed, it appears that Sher- 
man's capture of Atlanta was the chief Federal success of the year, 
and that if Sherman should be finally beaten the balance would be 
against the Federals. For Sherman was already in "retreat" once 
more. (December 3.) — Sherman, we are told, had reached At- 
lanta, but there his triumphs ended. Hood speedily made the 
place untenable. 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMEMCAN WAR 85 

It scarcely admitted of a doubt that Sherman's expedition 
must result in a disaster. Everything looked unfavourable. "The 
most remarkable feature of the war", it says (December 22), "is 
the wild and desperate effort of an out-manoeuvred general to ex- 
tricate himself from his position". At length news came, filtered 
through Southern sources, and worked up by the Times into one 
of the most curious masses of error to be found even in its pages. 
(December 26, 1864.) — ^It announced that Sherman was emerging. 
His object was to reach the sea at any price. He had with him 
"only half the force he took from Atlanta". This was a misrepre- 
sentation, apparently, of a statement that half Sherman's army 
had at some part of the march been sent to threaten Augusta. 
"The Savannah was navigable for 400 miles above the point at 
which Sherman is approaching it. (It is navigable for 250 in all). 
The Ogeechee is one of the tributaries of the Savannah. (The 
Savannah and Ogeechee flow parallel to each other, and guarded 
Sherman's two flanks; the Times forced the Ogeechee into the Sa- 
vannah, with the apparent intention of cutting off Sherman's 
"retreat".) Sherman could have no serious intention of taking 
Savannah. It is supposed that he intends to cross the Savannah to 
meet a force sent eastwards from Port Royal to meet him." The 
force was, no doubt, assumed to be so mystified by the sudden 
changes in geography as to move in precisely the opposite direction 
to that which in a normal state of things would bring it to meet 
Sherman. 

Besides these main armies, General Banks had made an expe- 
dition from New Orleans, and completely failed. As the Confed- 
erates began the year with brighter prospects than ever before, as 
Grant lost battle after battle at a fabulous cost of life, as Sherman 
was retreating with little hope of safety, and Banks had been all 
but crushed, it is not surprising that the Times continued to think 
the Northern cause hopeless. Suddenly the ground it had thought 
so solid gave way under its feet. Savannah surrendered, Wilming- 



86 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

ton was taken, Charleston was taken, and Sherman pierced South 
Carolina as he had pierced Georgia. The Confederacy seemed to 
be that hollow shell to which Mr. Seward had compared it, much 
to the amusement of the Times. For a time it made a feeble at- 
tempt at maintaining that, after all, the loss was not so great. The 
'^first act" of the war was over. But that only had happened 
which ^*all Europe'' had expected to happen at once, and if the 
South stood firm the end was no nearer. A guerilla warfare might 
be expected to succeed to the conflicts of regular armies. Sud- 
denly Grant defeated Lee, and with the capture of Richmond the 
war practically expired. The Times correspondent still remained 
faithful. He hinted even (April 18) that the conclusive victory 
was rather ^^theatrical" than substantial, and that Lee was re- 
treating when it took place on a preconcerted plan. The last 
flutter of this gentleman, as I may here mention, was an attempt 
to prove that Texas might still hold out for years; the letter was 
written after the last Texas general had surrendered. The Times 
had but one excuse, and that an absurdly feeble excuse, to make. 
The whole fortune of the war, it said (April 17), had been changed 
by the errors of the generals opposed to Sherman. If President 
Davis had not superseded Johnston, things might have gone differ- 
ently. 

The "ifs" of history are innumerable; but this can hardly be 
a serious statement. Every item of news from the South makes 
the truth more evident. Lnpartial observers had remarked it 
during the war, but the Times had refused to see it. The simple 
fact is, that of two gamblers who stake equal amounts with widely 
different fortunes, the poorer will be ruined first. The last reserves 
win the battle. The Southern cause was bleeding to death whilst 
the North had hardly developed its full strength. There were 
abundant symptoms of the fatal weakness, but the Tim^s appar- 
ently put faith in its New York correspondent (a degree of credulity 
of which one would have thought the Tim^s specially unlikely to 



TBE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 87 

be guilty) and supposed these statements to be mere Northern 
forgeries. The Tinusj in fact, by a curious mental hallucination, 
appeared to think that the Southern soldiers were immortal. 
When it calculated that Lee had only been prevented from winning 
a great success by three days' hard fighting, it never occurred to 
the writer that this failure of success was necessarily a tremendous 
loss, and that even a Southern victory might easily be bought too 
dear. The losses of the North were constantly kept before the 
English imagination by the incessant calculations and exaggera- 
tions of the New York correspondent. The Southern losses were 
carefully concealed, and the Confederacy presented for a long time 
an apparently unbroken front. But any one whose thoughts were 
too deep, must have known that the loss was not the less severe 
because not openly avowed. 

There is one more remark to be made. The failure to take 
into account the element of slavery still misled the Times* judg* 
ment. It said (Nov. 7, 1864) that the negro would fight for his 
master. As the experiment was not tried, it is impossible to say 
whether this is true; but it is at least significant that the masters 
did not venture to try the experiment until the last extremity. 
The employment of blacks by the Federal troops had a very differ- 
ent effect from that which would have followed their employment 
by the Confederates. It is clear gain if you can make a battering- 
ram against your enemy's fort of a beam taken from his own foun- 
dations. It is by no means gain to him to use the same material 
for an opposing machine. However this may be, slavery produced 
one cardinal weakness in the Southern defences which the Times 
was forced studiously to ignore. Wherever the Federal forces 
went, they stayed. They found half the population at least pas- 
sively friendly, and by freeing them, they, for the time, paralyzed 
the hostile moiety. But the Times y by averting its sight from all 
that concerned emancipation, except where emancipation involved 
accidental cruelty, failed to allow for this in its calculations. 



88 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

XII. — ^IViORAL. 

ON Dec. 81, 1868, after speaking of the **foolish vituperation 
of England" which had been fashionable with the American 
press, the Times added, with superlative calmness, "the en- 
tire absence of retaliation on the English side can scarcely be 
claimed as a merit; the spectator is naturally calmer than the com- 
batant, nor is he tempted to echo his incoherent cries." 

This remark suggests a few rather curious reflections. The 
American press is accused of "foolish vituperation of England". 
I fully concur in the justice of this charge. From the New York 
Herald upwards there is much which no Englishman can read — 
few Englishmen, happily, read it at all — ^without a certain jar upon 
his patriotic sensibilities. The truth is that human nature on both 
sides of the Atlantic is tolerably alike, and that in both countries 
angry men use strong language, and men in the excitement of a 
life-and-death struggle don't pause to adjust their epithets or qual- 
ify their judgments with nicety. This is indeed admitted by the 
writer in the Times. He might with perfect fairness have gone 
further. The American press has, from the nature of the case, no 
such concentration of able and scholarlike writers of those of our 
metropolitan and best provincial papers. It is far inferior to ours 
in talent. I cannot so well judge as to its principles; but I am in- 
clined to believe that we should find it impossible to produce any 
match for the New York Herald in thorough baseness and dispo- 
sition to pander to the worst popular tastes. On the other hand, 
they have many journals, which appear to me to be as honestly 
but not so ably conducted as the best of our own. Abuse, how- 
ever, is abuse, whether it comes in the shape of vulgar bluster and 
threats, or whether it is couched in delicate phrases. The Amer- 
ican press does not possess the happy art of expressing envy, mal- 
ice, and all uncharitableness in terms of philanthropy and brotherly 
love; but the substance of its remarks sometimes reminds me of 
what I have read in the Times. It wields a bludgeon instead of a 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAE 89 

rapier; but it comes to the same whether your skull is broken or 
you are run through the body. 

But, says the Times^ there has been an entire absence of re- 
taliation on the English side. Let me shortly recall some of the 

f compliments to America which I have already quoted from the 

Times. The war, it said, was called by the North an anti-slavery 
war; this was for the most part a mere pretext to blind foreigners; 
so far as a desire for emancipation meant anything, it meant, to 
cover designs of diabolical malignity; it was intended to lead to the 
organization of "a series of Cawnpores" (September 19, 1862), or 
to the total extirpation of every white male in the South. The 
real motives of the war were far more commonplace; it was, in 
fact, a mere squabble for territory ; in part due to a desire for pro- 
tective tariffs unjustly favourable to the North, and having regard 
to the views of a large class, it might fairly be called a war "to keep 
slavery as one of the social elements of the Union'*. The desire 

p for emancipation was "introduced into the war by an after- 

thought;'' it served as a thin superficial varnish to vulgar, and 
sometimes to atrocious motives. In pursuing a wild will-of-the- 
wisp, the Northern armies, utterly unable to conquer the South, 
overmatched in statesmanship, generalship, and courage, had made 
an easy conquest of their countrymen's liberties. The free, self- 
governing nation of English blood had become the humble slave 
of a despotism at once oppressive and ridiculous. Mob law had 
suppressed all that was noble and exalted in the nation, and was 
leading them to a fearful abyss of bankruptcy and ruin. The war 
had rapidly degenerated into a mere scramble for profits, kept up 
by profuse issues of paper money, and by a gigantic debt on which 
they did not even seriously intend to pay interest. Such as it was 
the North would not fight in it themselves. They scraped to- 
gether the refuse of Europe and stole the Southern negroes. 
Every boast which they had ever made was proved to be empty; 
every taunt which they had aimed at Europe might be retorted 



90 THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

upon themselves. An unrighteous war, in defiance of every prin- 
ciple upon which American government was based, would have no 
result but hopeless bankruptcy and the complete and final pros- 
tration of liberty. The republic had rotted into an empire, and 
the gangrene, as it elegantly expressed it, had burst. 

This, forsooth, was not vituperation, because, I suppose, it 
was so obviously true. It is no abuse to call a chimney-sweep 
black; but when he retorts, in his vulgar language, that you are a 
bloated aristocrat, and that he will whip you well when he has 
time for the job, he is indulging in "foolish vituperation". Or 
perhaps, "vituperation" is too coarse a term^p apply to the ele- 
gant language of the Times and its brethren. (ifJ had proved that 
the Times had made a gigantic blunder from end to end as to the 
causes, progress, and consequences of the war, I should have done 
lit^.y Its opinion might be proved worthless; but it would be 
merely worthless in the sense in which the old astronomers' notions 
of the solar system were worthless; they did the solar system no 
harm. But I contend that I have proved simultaneously that it 
was guilty of "foolish vituperation" and as I am weak enough to 
think anything a serious evil which tends to alienate the freest 
nation of the old world from the great nation in the new, whose 
foundation is amongst our most glorious achievements, I contend 
also, that I have proved the Times to be guilty of a public crime. 
It was, I admit, due to gross ignorance, and not to malice; it may, 
I also admit, take such comfort as it can from the consideration 
that equal errors were committed in America; but I still think its 
conduct criminal. 

If, however, my previous statements should be insufficient, I 
will collect a few, and only a few, more specimens of what I under- 
stand by abuse, pure and simple; and I will show by one or two 
examples what is the nature of the evil that may result. I will 
quote nothing from that New York correspondent whose letters 
are one long, tiresome tirade, that must, one would think, have 



THE "TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 91 

sickened even his employers. I will merely ask any one to tell me 
whether the passages I am about to quote contain "foolish vitu- 
peration' ^ or what term can be found in the English language that 
will more aptly describe them. 

March 19, 1863. — Contains a good specimen of the Times^ 
"historical parallel style**, in which "all history' 'is ransacked to 
prove two platitudes and one false analogy. The platitudes are 
that "States are not made in a day", and that "there is no crime so 
ruinous as weakness or political rottenness". The parallel — so 
obvious that one wonders it had never been previously suggested — 
is between North and South, on the one hand, and, on the other, 
England and France when the sovereignity of France was claimed 
by the kings of both countries. This ingenious parallel is worked 
out at some length to help us to divine the future of America. 
Meanwhile, we are told that "the hard metal and the sharp edge 
of a loftier nature and sterner will have cut into that great gangrene 
(the Union), as our old writers would have described it, and it has 
burst and gone". The once United States are a mere heap of 
loose materials "and caldron of molten stuff ready to receive what- 
ever form fortune may determine". This is the general text. 1 
will now give some of the sermon. 

Oct. 12, 1861. — ^**We regard this unnatural struggle with 

loathing and horror the most groundless and wanton civil 

quarrel of which history gives us any account." 

July 16, 1862. — ^"Even in America, credulous and simple as 
we may seem to be when we say so, honesty would, we believe, be 
the best policy", and it dilates upon the systematic falsification of 
contemporary history. 

July 17. — ^The Americans are, it seems, "delighted with the 
great distress which has fallen upon our Lancashire operatives"; 
tbey wish to multiply the existing evil, to make it as wide and all- 



92 THE *TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAK 

pervading as possible** — as was conclusively proved by the ship 
George Griszaold* 

July 18. — ^'^The feeling is becoming very general that if we 
.... ought not to stop this effusion of blood by mediation, we ought 
to give our moral weight to our English kith and kin, who have 
gallantly striven so long for their liberties against a mongrel race 
of plunderers and oppressors". 

Aug. 12. — ^Mr. Roebuck's reviling "is so very like the truth 
that it will probably be received with unbounded indignation. 
Yet it is becoming, we are sure, the general opinion of Europe'*. 

Jan. 20, 1863. — ^**A carnival of corruption" — "the people 
demoralized". 

Jan. 26. — ^**No serious intention of repaying the loan at all." 

Feb. 20, 1863.— The notorious "Manhattan" is quoted and 
elaborately commented upon throughout an article as a fair speci- 
men of the "fiercest Unionist and most uncompromising Norther- 
ner". After quoting many of his ravings, the Times adds its hope 
that, "in speaking the language of the North, we have improved 
our own tone, and manifested those generous sympathies with an 
invader, which have been asked for at our hands". 

May 21. — ^**The North have given no indications of sorrow or 
distress", in proof of which it appeals to the correspondent's letters. 

I may remark upon this and similar accusations of heartless- 
ness, that the Times never, so far as I have been able to discover, 
alludes to the most signal proof to the contrary, in that almost un- 
equalled effort of private benevolence — ^the Sanitary Conmiission. 
People so heartless do not usually subscribe munificently to their 
sick and wounded. 

May 28. — ^People "naturally asked whether the gentleman 
was to rule in the Old World and the opposite character in the New 

•This vessel was laden with food for the starving, and was sent from New York as a gift. — [Ed. J 



THE 'TIMES'' ON THE AMERICAN WAR 98 

it is vain to look for those higher principles from which alone 

we might expect a settlement of the question". This pleasing 
article ends with the suggestion already quoted, that the Ameri- 
cans should sometimes think what ''ought'' means. 

June 18. — ^''Presumptuous folly, reckless fanaticism, gambling, 
cupidity to glut the avarice of a few obscure persons", are attri- 
buted to the North. 

Sept. 18. — ^"The Americans must be described as creatures 
of passion, without reason, or only that lower acuteness of under- 
standing which enables them to adapt means to their inunediate 
ends." The Americans are ruled by blackguards. (May 28) It 
is natural to assume them to be brute beasts. 

Indeed, as it attributed to them (July 11, 1862) the sentiment, 
"Evil, be thou my good", it may be said to have insinuated their 
possession of some diabolic qualities. 

Oct. 23. — ^America is in the hands of "brawlers, impostors, 
and adventurers of every kind". 

Jan. 22. 1864. — "The Southerners were daily told of a uni- 
versal organization in which the will of the majority should over- 
ride all Constitutions, all international law, all institutions, every 
right and interest that stood in its way. They dreaded — and it 
must be said, justly dreaded, the full brunt of that tyranny which 
they had long known, and which, it must be said, they had helped 
to create, but which they now saw about to be turned on them- 
selves". 

July 6, 1864. — (I may remark, as a characteristic circum- 
stance, that each previous Fourth of July had been marked by an 
article exulting over the breakdown of all American anticipations, 
and marked by such oratory as that of which I am giving speci- 
mens). "This war has been carried on with a cruelty far surpas- 
sing anything that can be laid to the charge of England. Towns 
have been burnt down in diabolical wantonness, the inhabitants of 



^ 



94 THE "TIMES" ON THE ABfERICAN WAR 

captured cities put to work in chains, universal plunder has im* 
poverished the chief people of the conquered States*, Congress has 
passed Confiscation Acts, &c. &c/' I have said nothing as to charges 
of this nature, chiefly because I have the fear of Colonel Crawley's 
case before my eyes, and know that to establish the truth or false- 
hood of any charge about things happening at a distance of several 
thousand miles would require an accumulation of proofs for which 
I have not the means nor the time or space. One remark must be 

^nnade, which illustrates a special difficulty under which I labour. 

(^^ false impression may be given more easily and more safely by 
omission than commission. Many of the most grievous misrq>- 
resentations of the Times are due to the art of omitting favourable 
circumstanc^ It is hard, however for me to assert that hidden 
away in some of the vast bulk of printed paper there may not lurk 
many statements which I have failed to remark. I know no means 
of giving any adequate idea of the precise extent to which the 
darker shades have been blackened, and the brighter omitted from 
the picture. I can only dwell upon positive faults in the outline. 
I will, therefore, merely remark that whilst the Times frequently 
alludes to alleged Federal atrocities, it passes with a tender hand 
over those charged on similar evidence against the Confederates. 
It speaks of General Macneill's execution of the men in Missouri. 
Indeed the story so pleased the New York correspondent that he 
related it at full length a second time many months after its oc- 
currence, with no intimation that it was not a new occurrence. 

VjDjit the Times scarcely mentions Quantrell's atrocious massacre 
of the inhabitants of Lawrence:N I have found no reference to 
Forrest's massacre of negro trodps at Fort Pillow, though, whether 
false or true, the story was supported by elaborate evidence. In- 
deed, as I have said, the only reference to a slaughter of negro 
prisoners is adduced as a ground of attack upon Lincoln for rais- 
ing negro troops. And I have found no allusion to that with 
which, more than any other, tended to embitter the Northern 

*The fate of Belgium anticipated by just half a century. — [Ed.] 



THE 'TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 95 

feeling — that, namely, of the systematic ill-treatment of North- 
em prisoners. It may be exaggerated or false, though a full ac<» 
count of the evidence upon which it rests has been published, but 
it should have been noticed. It is a characteristic proceeding, by 
the way, of the New York correspondent, that he attributes the 
ferocity of the New York rioters in 1863 to the "cold-blooded bru- 
taUty^' of the Republican journals, which had remonstrated, very 
sensibly, it would seem, against the practice of firing blank car- 
tridges to intimidate them. 

These quotations will probably serve as sufficient examples of 
the tone adopted by the Times whenever the North was in a bad 
way; for if anything could add to the impression made by the abuse, 
it is the contrast afforded by occasional intervals of civility. I 
cannot fully go into this charge. I will just remark that the abuse 
increased in vigour from Fort Sumter up to the end of 1861, and 
the connection of the war with slavery was strongly denied. Dur- 
ing the spring of 1862 the early successes of the North caused the 
Times to speak of it with decent civility. It "could hardly blame 
the North**, it said (April 28), for seeking what it honestly believed 
to be its rights, though blindly. And it incidentally admitted the 
war to be due to slavery. (April 17.) — ^It was "caused by the 
deadly animosities of slaveholders and freemen", and "the effect 
of an attempt to unsettle the relations of master and slave". 
Again, the fortunes of the North declined till they reached their 
nadir in the spring of 186S. The Tim^Sj besides plentiful abuse, 
felt itself encouraged up to the pitch of admitting slavery to be con- 
nected with the Southern cause, and defending it as socially ad- 
vantageous, and even as not opposed to the Bible. This I have 
already proved. As the North became victorious last spring they 
effected another strategetical movement. 

Let me now take its treatment of one or two special points. 
I have shown incidentally what was the Times* opinion of Presi- 
dent Lincoln. 



96 THE 'TIMES'* ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

Oct. 21, 1862. — It discussed the character of "Lincohi the 
Last*^ or "Honest Abe", "Honest to his party, not to his people". 
"Such honesty'^ it added, "is an intolerable evil". "How insup- 
portable must be the despotism in which a man of this calibre is 
despot!" and it speculated on Lincoln's name being in future classes 
amongst those of "monsters, wholesale assassins and butchers". 

I have also quoted enough to show the view they took of the 
great measure with which Lincoln's name will be for ever asso- 
ciated — ^the Emancipation Proclamation. It was, at the time, sup- 
posed to be a cloak for a diabolical crime. It appeared afterwards 
to be a mere reckless bid for support. He was ready (January 12, 
1863) to take "peace or war, or both at once; slavery or abolition, 
or both together; he gives every principle a chance", his one object 
being, it is to be supposed, to keep power. 

Sept. 17, 1863. — ^It observed, "Strange that he should have 
blundered and vacillated so long as he has without losing confidence 
in himself, or altogether losing that of his countrymen". 

Sept. 24. — ^It explains that he is "really indifferent to slavery; 
it is his misfortune to have become under pressure of the merciless 
philanthropists, an instrument for exterminating the whites". 

Dec. 23. — ^His inaugural message is "the most cold-blooded 
political document ever published". 

I have found no traces of the Times abandoning this view of 
his character. 

Nov. 22, 1864. — ^It remarked upon his re-election that we have 
no great reason to complain of Lincoln^s course. "He has gone 
through the course of defying and insulting England, which is the 
traditional way of obtaining the Irish vote". But for his countrymen 
his re-election, as I have shown, means "the abandonment of the 
right of self-government", and all kinds of horrible things. In 
short, he was a blundering, unprincipled, cold-blooded despot. 



IHE '*TIMES" ON THE AMEBICAN WAR 97 

On April 17» 1865, the Times remarked on his having chosen 
''the most odious and offensive topics that could be obtruded into 
a speech on reconstruction", and infers that the only hope for 
America is in the rise of a new race of statesmen. 

The news came of his assassination, and two days afterwards 
(April 19) we are told Lincoln was "a man who could not under any 
circumstances have been easily replaced". He **had won for him- 
self the respect and confidence of all". His "perfect honesty had 
soon become apparent." 

April 29. — ^Lincoln "was as little a tyrant as any man who 
ever lived. He could have been a tyrant if he had liked, but he 
never made so much as an ill-natured speech". He was doubtless 
glad at last to see slavery perish, but his personal opinions on that 
subject were not permitted to influence the policy of the Govern- 
ment". 

I will venture to say that I could not have contradicted the 
Times more flatly myself. The death of a great man naturally 
induces us to speak kindly of his memory. But it does not al- 
ways induce us to contradict in terms every criticism we passed 
upon him till the day of his death. Either the praise must be hyp- 
ocritical, or the abuse must have been ill founded. Probably both 
are worthless; and such compliments are more likely to provoke 
contempt than gratitude. 

Let me notice the way in which the Times received the news of 
the first battle, in which an army of raw volunteers broke and fled 
in confusion after several hours' hard fighting, without food, under 
a hot sun, upon the unexpected arrival of hostile reinforcements. 

The Times described (August 7, 1861) how "76,000 American 
patriots fled for twenty miles in an agony of fear, although no one 
was pursuing them; how 75,000 other patriots abstained from pur- 
suing their 75,000 enemies because they were not informed how 
stark frightened they were". The artillery was not captured, but 



^ 



M THE 'TDraS*' ON THE AMEBICAN WAB 

picked up. This is all fair play. The comments are the special 
beauty of the article. The Government, said the Times^ "will call 
out a few more millions of yolunteres» and must make a confident 
demand upon the incredulous world for a few more hundred mil- 
lions sterling.** But at bottom there must be a growing con- 
sciousness that "the Southern nut is too hard to crack". There 
will be "tall words", but "in the face of that screaming crowd, the 
grand army of the Potomac", they will be useless. Some silly 
boast had been made on a false report of a Northern victory. The 
North, said the Times j expects to "chaw us up", but "we are not 
fearful enough to be ferocious". When at peace, they "will not be 
so bloodthirsty as they think; or,, if they should be, they will not be 
so mischievous as they say". Spain would be strong enough to 
deal with their navy, and Canada has before now given a good ac- 
count of Yankee invaders. This kind of writing was admirably 
suited to soothe a wounded national vanity and increase the 
mutual esteem of the two coimtries. 

I will conclude with one example, to show the effect which the 
Times was likely to produce upon international relations. The 
period at which we approached most closely to a war was doubtless 
on the Trent affair. Mr. Bright charged the TimeSy in the session 
of 1862, with having done its best to bring about a war. It was 
hardly worth while to answer a gentleman who had just made the 
ridiculous assertions to the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce that 
cotton was to be first expected from Northern successes, and that 
the war had given a deathblow to slavery. 

The Times, however, condescended to say (February 18) "We 
expressed ourselves so mildly, so cautiously, so reservedly, with 
such thorough submission to the law of nations and the legal au* 
thorities, that for several days after the rebound of the tidings at 
America, its writers were proclaiming that England took it very 
quietly indeed." Let us see how matters really stood. 



THE 'TIMEB'' ON THE AMEBiCAN WAR M 

On November 28 the Times published an article in an irre^ 
proachable spirit. Its law perhaps was bad, but its intention good. 
It stated that the seizure of the envoys was a questionable proceed- 
ing; that it was irregular, the proper course being to make prise of 
the TrenU and bring the question before the courts; but, on the 
whole, it was not improbable that the Americans were legally jus- 
tified, and, if so, we should yield with a good grace. It is not sur- 
prising that the Americans took at first the same view more 
strongly, that they assumed that they were certainly right; that 
their papers wrote a great deal of nonsense, retorting much of the 
abuse which our national organ had heaped upon them, and that 
public meetings conducted by stump orators welcomed Wilkes as 
a ^irited assertor of the country's honour. 

On the 29th the Times found out that it had made a slip. The 
law officers of the Crown decided that Mason and Slidell must be 
demanded, and on December 2 the Times further announced that 
a proper demand for their delivery had been sent. From this time 
till the middle of January, 1862, one leader, sometimes two, and 
sometimes three, appeared daily in the Times discoursing upon 
American affairs • . and if any one wishes to practise the art of irri- 
tating abuse, I recommend him to study these charming produc- 
tions. 

The City article of the SOth had already remarked, with its 
usual delicate appreciation of American institutions, its fear that 
the decision of the matter would be taken out of the hands of the 
Government by the mob. The leading article of the same day 
implied that even this view was too favourable. There was, it 
admitted, "a possibility that the act was not expressly directed by 
the Government". "We fear, however, that the Federal Govern- 
ment had deliberately determined to seize the Southern Commis- 
sioners," and, in support of this hypothesis, it gave an elaborate 
discussion of certain rumors as to the movements of Federal vessels. 
This was confirmed (Dec. 3) by the assertion that America refuses 



100 THE 'TIMES'' ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

to show the slightest respect for international law. '*It is evident'', 
it inferred, ''that if England should be found ready to eat dirt 
there will be no lack of Americans to cram it down her throat", and 
indeed, without waiting to discover our capacity of swallow, they 
must have been ready to try, for it believed war to have been deter- 
mined upon long ago. The American newspapers had, of course, 
given food for abuse; but, before hearing of the attitude taken by 
England, there had been a change in their tone of ''a wholesome 
kind", and this is the way in which the Times moralizes upon it. 
(Dec. 9.) — ^We might, it says, be happy if we could trust to the 
''blank terror in some of those broadsheets that have been breathing 
flames for some years past". "Because we had, half grumbling 
and half in contempt, alloweH them for some years to tread rudely 
upon our corns and to elbow us discourteously", they had thought 
that we should submit "to have our noses tweaked in solemn form 
Jljy Mr. Seward". Sheer cowardice had, it seems, improved them. 
/ Gradually, as the chancy of peace increased, the Times grew more 
^^[5lustering and offensiw. ) The war was gradually brutalizing both 
sides. The South wereoad enough (Dec. 10), but still it appears 
(Dec. 17) that they were fighting "to emancipate themselves from 
the tyranny of a degraded mob, elective judges, and elective gov- 
ernors". "The natural course of financial sequences must bring 
the civil war to an end". Without the addition of a foreign war, 
"the other difficulties must produce an immediate collapse, and the 
peace which ensues upon utter exhaustion". Encouraged by this, 
the Times gloats over the sight of the Americans yielding to our in- 
vincible arms. (Dec. 26.) — ^"It would be amusing, if it were not 
painful, to see how the whole set of tricky pohticians are preparing 
to meet the anger of the Britisher". It was indeed possible that, 
notwithstanding their abject terror, a war might be brought about, 
to escape from the war at home. 

The more numerous party would expect to "chaw England up'*. 
A few anxious business men might be against it. The party who 



t 
i 



• • • • 
• • • • » • _ 

. • • • . • ■ • 



THE 'TDMES" ON TBE AMERICAN WAR '• :. : : y.JWt]: >. 

object to the war, because it will embarrass the conquest of the 
South are balanced by the large party disgusted with the present 
contest and anxious to get out of it by a war with England. We 
all know, as the mob are the rulers of the United States, whether 
''the few anxious business men'' and the sincere fanatics are likely 
to control the braggarts and dishonest politicians. The Times 
argued anxiously and as long as possible that war was highly prob- 
able. The tone of America had become peaceful; as the Times put 
it (Jan. 2, 1862), ''when the lion approaches the douar of the wan- 
dering Arab, the dogs of the encampment are silent from fear"; 
but, as it consolingly added, "it is not certain that the men of that 
encampment will give up the sheep for which he is roaring without 
a fight''. It repudiated with indignation the weak proposals of 
Lord Ebury and some weak-minded lovers of peace, who proposed 
an arbitration. It bragged of our capacity to whip the Yankees 
whenever we pleased. The Americans were ignorant of our power* 
(January 3,1862) — ^"At privateering we, as being infinitely stronger, 
could do more than they.*' Our privateers "would be as certain 
in the long run to beat theirs as our Royal Navy would be to beat 
their ships of war." A war, indeed, would, comparatively speak- 
ing, be sport to us, though death to them — ^"their navy is scarcely 
more formidable than that of Italy or Spain". And throughout 
all this reckless abuse or bluster there is not one civil word nor one 
hint that any considerations of justice could possible have any 
weight with Mr. Lincoln, Mr. Sewardr^ the American people. . 
Mason and Slidell were surrendered, an ^the abuse of tl^eTxWj wasr^ 
increased (if possible) in proportion to it sense of saf etyT^The sur- 
render, it assured us as soon as it was reported, was dtie not to 
Vattel and Bynkershoek, (Jan. 9, 1862) — ^"but to the promptitude 
with which we reinforced Admiral Hughes' fleet and poured bat- 
talion after battalion into Canada." The quarrel being over (Jan. 
10) it observed, "we are rather better friends than before". As, 
however, it is reported that the Northerner hates England twice as 
much as he loves the Union, we had better maintain our forces in 



• ( 



Ai:.::li«-: • • THE ''TIMEB'' ON TBOB AMERICAN WAB 

Canada. Mason and Slideli were on their way to England^ and 
the Times feared that they would receive what it calls an 'Nation". 
It accordingly informed them (January 11, 1862) that '^the general 
impression in this country is that both sides in the States have 

acted as ill as could be that it is not for England to decide 

which of them bears the palm for insolence, outrage, treachery, 
and folly." The quarrel was like one between two noisy brats in 
the nursery, which the mother is called to quiet, and it draws this 
beautiful moral: — ^"'Let us sincerely hope that our countrymen will 

not give Chese fellows anything in the shape of an ovation We 

should have done just as mudb to rescue two of their own negroes 
So please, British public, let's have none of these things/' 

As a humble member of that collective unit, I shrink from the 
off^isive familiarity of this soi-disant representative of my country 
as one shrinks from being patted on the back by a British mob in 
' a foreign land. During the rest of January the Times absolutely 
coruscated with a succession of jubilant articles calculated to 
point out to the North their extreme foUy and our sa?ene wisdom. 



Q. 



the presence of a national danger there are two lines of 
pohcy possiU|^ One is to abstain from studied insult, to give the 
American Government all the strength which a calm appeal to 
their s^ise of justice could confer, and whilst preparing for war, to 
seek by all honourable means for peace. But if policy is to be de- 
termined by the motive of pleasing your audience, and your audi- 
ence is certain to be in a bad temper, then say all the insulting 
things you can think of. Tell the Americans that a deliberate 
breach of international law was all we expected of them that we 
were ready to punish them like yelping curs; that we hoped nothing 
from their justice, but much from their cowardice; that even if 
their Government wished to be just, which is highly improbable, 
the mob would not permit; fill all vacant spaces with well worn 
topics ct abuse; rake up all the old quarrdb you can think of; and> 



ON TBE AMEHBCAN WAS 108 

if yoa don't promote peace, you will certainly sell your paper. I 
do not know how large a dose of this abuse reached America in 
time to influ^ce the decision of the United States Government and 
people ; bute ven if the Times can escape on the plea that it only used ^ 
this langtmge-whe^ it was tolerably safe/^ would observe that it 
was not likely to make things pleasant ^r the next quarrel that 
mi^t occur. 

And this is my moral : — The persistent misapprehensions of 
the Times have, in my opinion, produced a very serious mischief. 
It was not that it took the Southern side. No American would have 
a right to complain if it had preferred the principle of State Rights 
to the abolition of slavery, although it is highly probable that 
many American»^ould have complained and attributed it to mean 
jealousy. Buyjay complaint againt the Times is that its total 
ignorance of the quarrel, and the presumption with which it pro- 
nounced upon its merits, led to its pouring out a ceaseless flood of 
scurrilous abuse, couched, indeed, in decent language, but as es-^ 
sentially insulting as the brutal vulgarities of the New York Herald.^ 
No American — ^I will not say with the feelings of a gentleman, for 
of course there are no gentlemen in America — but no American 
with enough of the common feelings of humanity to resent tjig in- 
sult when you spit in his face, could fail to be wounded, anc^^jo far 
as he took the voice of ^l^e Times for the voice of England) to be r* 
irritated against EnglancD I am not so vain as to think that 
anything which I can do will at all lower the Times in popular es- 
teem. An attack upon its character for consistency and political 
morality is pretty much thrown away; it is like accusing a gipsy of 
not having a clean shirt; it has long learnt to be independent of 
that luxury. If I had the eloquence of Burke my attacks would 
be of little importance to the Times. Still, I am anxious to do what 
little I can, not to injure the Times, but to explain the true value 
of its criticism in this particular case. I may help to prove to some 
Americans that the Times does not express the judgment of 







+ 



104 THE "TIMES" ON THE AMERICAN WAR 

thoughtful Englishmen, but only supplies the stimulating, but in- 
trinsically insipid fare that most easily titillates an indolent appe- 
tite. Men whose opinion about America are mere guesses lying 
on the surface of their minds, and never subject to its serious oper- 
ations, like thir'kind of stuff. That is true, but that is all that is 
to be said ; anfl I see no reasonVhy a sensible American should be 
vexed by such rSndom ignor^c^ All that I can profess to do for 
English readers is, to give an additional proof of the correctness of 
the common opinion about the Times, namely, that, as for consis- 
tency, it has none, and its politics are altogether uncertain. 

It is probable that the interests of foreign politics may continue 
to increase, f Pergonal obervation in America has shown me the 
pernicious effeetwhich the Timts may produce upon our relation 
with other countr^esy/ The cruel insults to men who, at least, 
were patriotic to the pitch of enthusiasm, were supposed to come 
from the English nation; and every concession became doubly diflS- 
cult. If future complications should arise, any contribution to- 
wards a due appreciation of the Times may be valuable. 

I will only add that I have been quit/ unable to give a com- 
plete picture of the Times, and, especiallyV*o^ give any adequate 
idea of its abuse^ I have gathered a few pearls on the shore of the 
great ocean of misrepresentation. I cannot hope that anyone will 
feel their full force who does not remember that they are mere 
specimens, and that the effect of steady abuse accumulates like the 
effect of the drops of water falling on the head of a prisoner in 
the Inquisition. 



FINIS 



i^^^^S*^^ 



->> 



1 



MAY 17 1915 



THE 



MAGAZINE OF HISTORY 



WITH 



NOTES AND QUERIES 



Ejctra Sfitmb^r — iHo. SB 




« 



SCIPIO'S" REFLECTIONS ON MONROE'S VIEW (1798) Uriah Tracy 



WILLIAM ABBATT 

TARRYTOWN NEW YORK 

1915 



J4^€^ 



K by F.irlr. ,'!,'i:td fcv Ihl UtcHd-'ld I 



SCIPIO'S 



RETLECTIONS ON 



MONROES VIEW 



OP THC 



CONDUCT OF THE 



EXECUTIVE 



OM THX 



Forei^ Affairs of the United States. 



CONNECTED fTITH A MISSION 



TO THE 



FRENCH REPUBLIC 

Of THE YEARS t 1794. *95, *96* 



>> 



Lofton: 

Printed by CALEB P, WATNE, Publi/her 

or THK BosToif « FEDERAL GAZETTE abd 
DAILY ADHERTISER** No. 17, Kuby- 
$TJIEXT, 3 Doort/rom StOtC' 
i^/rm.-— .Z79&, 



NEW YORK 

MPBINTBD 

WILLIAM ABBATT 

1915 

Being Extra No. 88 of Thk Magazinii of Hibtobt with Notes and QuaBODB 



RES ARDUA ▼■T178TI8 NOYITATXTM DABB; NOYIB AUCTOBITATBM; OBSOLXTIB, NITOBBlf; 
OBSCUBn, LUCBIi; FABTIDITia, OBATICUM; DUBII8, FIDXM; OMNIBUS YKBO NATUBAM, BT 
VATUBAL SUA OMNIA. 

ItAQCB BTIAM NON AB8BCT7TI8, YOLTTIBSB ABUNDB PULCHBUM TTTgiTB MAONIflCUM ■»• 

(It is s difficult thing to give newness to old things, authority to new things, beauty to 
things out of use, fame to the obscure, favor to the hateful (or ugly), credit to the doubtful* 
nature to all and all to nature. To such, nevertheless as cannot attain to all these, it is greatly 
commendable and magnificial to have attempted the same 

Flint, — preface to his Natural Hutori/, 



EDITOR'S PREFACE 

THIS pamphlet, of which the original is very scarce and which 
has never before been reprinted, comes down to us from an 
age when such publications were frequent, though more often 
issued in the form of a series of newspaper articles addressed to 
the public by "Brutus'*, "Cato'\ or some other of the classical 
heroes of whom the political writers of the time were so fond. 

Its author was a Federalist politician then of much note, 
Uriah Tracy, of Connecticut. Bom in Franklin, Feb. 2, 1755, he 
died at the National Capital, July 19, 1807. A lawyer in Litch- 
field many years, he served in the Legislature from 1788 to 1798, 
and as a Representative in Congress, 1793-96 and then as Sena- 
tor, in place of Jonathan Trumbull, who had resigned, serving 
until his death. 

The pamphlet attracted great attention, being first attributed 
to Hamilton. Washington himself was curious enough to write 
to Oliver Wolcott: "Mr. Monroe, I am told appears in a volum- 
inous work! A writer under the signature of *Scipio*, will, I 
conceive, work him pretty well. Who is *Scipio'? I am fishing 
for no secrets, but if the author is known, or conjectured on good 
grounds, I should like to know who he is'\ Wolcott replied, 
giving Tracy's name and adding: "it is not, and I believe will 
not be generally known." 

We are particularly fortunate in being able to give Mr. 
Tracy's portrait. Having been assured, on good authority, that 
none such existed, it was with much pleasure that we received 
from the Historical Society of Litchfield, a photograph of the oil 
painting by Robert Earle, owned by the Society, and never be- 
fore made public. 



1 



PREFACE. 



The EJOiTOk tfthi F£PEaAL GAZETTE AND 
DAILY AOVERTISEa ha$ been induced to fepubUJk thi 
Rt HARKS rfSCIPIOp mi itftftmm a CMoUUm tfikdr 
excellence than from Me veiy nimieroQt mid rejg^iOaUt 
SuL/crlptiM with which they hme Been hummed. Th& 
Writer Ofplofs great extent ef pelMcai infermatien, 
great Ocutene/s rf tneefltgaUcn^. andfimwt in a flrtking 
peine eftiew the niU<M>ndoft ef JAMtS JMDNRDEf 
Zr«i7Mf t tee MiHtSTBR firem the UNITED STJTES 
l» ika nutNCH REPUBLIC The Editor truftt thai 
the drcntaHen ef this Punphlet will give another Biotr 
to decUoiog jACOBivieu, and promote the caufe if 
IkDtMAttem emd Goon Govemmenu 



1 



SCEPIO'S 

BBFLEGTIONS ON 

MONROE'S VIEW, 



No. I. 

I HAVE perused the publication of Mr. Monroe, late Minister 
of the French Republic, which he has thought proper to call 
'"A View of the conduct of the Executive on the foreign affairs 
of the United States, connected with the mission of the French 
Republic, during the years 1794, 5, 6," and which he has illustrated 
with his instructions and correspondence, and other authentic 
documents. Having been superceded by Mr. Pincknet, the ob- 
jects of the ex-minister are avowed to be, not merely to vindicate 
himself, or to retrieve his reputation, from the unfavorable im- 
pressions which his dismission from office may have excited, and 
to fix a censure on the late President for his act, but principally to 
prove that the present misunderstanding between the United 
States and the French Republic, and a rupture, should it happen, 
are attributable not to the Directory of the French Republic, but 
to our Executive, whose policy during the whole of the European 
war is pronounced by him to be injurious to our national character 
and interests, ""short sighted and bad." This last is a very serious 
charge, but it is not now for the first time brought forward. It has 
been the constant pursuit of the French faction in our country to 
make this impression on the public mind, and in every state it has 
been at one time or other attempted — That Mr. Monroe, whose 
policy relative to France I am ready to admit has been at variance 
with the policy of the late President from the commencement of his 

NoTS — ^The original speUing has been followed, as a rule, [Ed J 

111 



8 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

ministerial functions to the time of his recall: that Mr. Monroe,. 
who it is not to be denied has been as true to his party as he could 
have been wished, should return to his native country and en- 
deavour to revive this antiquated complaint, has excited in me no 
surprise. Being discarded by the administration, no alternative 
remained but to endeavor to stand well with the opposition, from 
whom he had never separated during the whole of his public em-^ 
ployment. It will not be pretended to have been possible for him 
to have served with fidelity the executive and the opposition 
faction at the same time; and which he served the documents fully 
evince. A man cannot at the same time serve God and mammon. 
This was the difficult station in which the late Minister to France 
was placed, and the obvious course which he should have taken to 
have dispelled the difficulties was either to have resigned his office, 
and adhered to the policy of his party, or to have abandoned his 
party and sincerely joined his endeavours in promoting the policy 
of the Executive. He did neither; but remaining in office his views 
were directed not by the policy of neutrality and independence 
with regard to all nations, which governed the President, but by a 
policy which should place our government under the care and pro- 
tection of France; a policy that would have confided to the gener- 
osity of France our claim upon Great Britain and Spain; a policy 
that degraded this country in the eyes of that Republic, as it tended 
to put the very being of the nation under its power, and to reduce 
us to the humble and helpless condition of Batavia. This is the 
view which the documents published by Mr. Monroe have pre- 
sented to my mind, to some of which I shall particularly refw in the 
course of the observations which they have suggested. From 
which it will appear that Mr. Monroe ought to have been sooner 
recalled, and it was the invariable and sincere endeavour of the 
Executive to preserve the best possible terms with France consis- 
tent with the peace and independence of this country. 

But let me first inquire upon what principle compatible with 

112 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 9 

an honorable discharge of his duty a superceded minister is war- 
ranted of his own accord in exposing to a foreign nation from whence 
he has been removed, and to the world, the confidential communi- 
cations of his own nation? Is it not a violation of the faith upon 
which he undertook his office? If upon the dismission of every 
public minister, one consequence is to be the publication of the 
most private transactions of the nation, the valuable purposes of 
diplomatic agents for preserving the peace and promoting the good 
of society cannot be attained. To attain these, each nation will 
disclose to its own agents the means which it deems the most ad- 
visable to be used relative to its own interests, and for one nation 
to publish these while all the other nations conceal their own, 
must place the former upon an unequal and disadvantageous 
ground with them all. When a public officer quits an office, 
whether voluntarily or involuntarily, he is not at the same time 
discharged from all the obligations which had been imposed upon 
him in the course of official duty. If facts or public documents be- 
came known to him, by reason of his office, in confidence that they 
should remain undisclosed, his obligations to secrecy continue the 
same, whether he is in or out of office. The knowledge is commun- 
icated in the first instance upon an implied promise to observe 
secrecy until permission shall be granted to divulge. No permis- 
sion was asked by Mr. Monroe to publish the confidential corres- 
pondence between 4he President of the United States and their 
Minister in France, and in doing this he appears to me to have 
committed a breach of duty for which he merits a more exemplary 
punishment than the silent disapprobation of the good and faith- 
ful. 

What good at this juncture could the publication of these 
private documents promote? 

From what motive has the publication proceeded? Was it 
designed to aid or to embarrass those measures of peace and con- 
with the French Republic, which are now in execution? 

118 



10 SCIPIO*S REFLECTIONS 

Whatever may have been the motive, I am happy in knowing that 
if an offence has been committed which deserves to be punished, 
there is a constitutional mode of obtaining justice to the United 
States, and of deterring others from a similar misbehavior. To 
the consideration of the proper authority, I shall therefore leave 
this illicit and unjustifiable procedure. 

No. n. 

THE reflections arising out of the authentic documents an- 
nexed to Monroe's ^'View," which I shall present to the pub- 
lic, will relate principally to his diplomatic conduct. I 
might say that the general tenor of his actions, from the beginning 
to the end of his mbsion, no less servile to the ruling power 
of France, than disrespectful, if not disobedient, to the Exec- 
utive of the United States, furnished sufficient cause for his recall. 
But I prefer stating particular instances of misconduct, and shall 
refer to the documents which prove them, this being the fairest 
mode of examining the subject. 

The instances that have appeared to me most reprehensible, 
may be specified as follows : 

First — ^He represented to the committee of public safety, that 
he was not instructed to complain of the decree, which, dispensing 
with some articles of the treaty of amity and commerce, was at- 
tended with the most ruinous effects on the American commerce; 
and on a proper view of the proceedings of the Executive, this rep- 
resentation will be found unauthorised and erroneous. 

Secondly — Without any thing to warrant his opinion, he in- 
formed the committee of public safety, that he well kneWf that if 
upon consideration, after the experiment made, it should be their 
opinion, that it produced any solid good to the Republic, to disre- 
gard the 23d and 24th articles of the treaty, the American govern- 
ment and his countrymen would not only bear with the departure 
with patience but with pleasure. 

114 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 11 

Thirdly — ^He frequently represented in positive terms to the 
committee of public safety, that Mr. Jay's mission was restrained 
to only two objects; to demand a compensation for spoliations, and 
surrender of the Western Posts — whereas his instructions stated the 
matter differently, informing him that the motives of the mission 
were to obtain compensation for spoliations and a surrender of the 
Western Posts, but not that his powers were limited to those 
objects only. 

Fourthly — ^He promised to the committee of public safety, in- 
discreetly, unnecessarily, and improperly, to communicate to them 
the contents of the treaty negociated by Mr. Jay with Great Brit- 
ain, so soon as they should be known to him; and before the treaty 
could possibly be sent to the President, and be either ratified or 
rejected, he sent a special messenger to London, to obtain a copy 
for the express purpose of submitting it to the ruling power in 
France, and pertinaciously refused information of the contents of 
the treaty, unless with a permission to communicate them accord- 
ing to his promise, to the committee of public safety. 

Fifthly — ^He encouraged the French Republic in a project to 
obtain by loan, a sum of money from the United States, to enable 
it to prosecute the war; a measure which his instructions positively 
forbid: which would inevitably have drawn them from a state of 
neutrality, and would have rendered them dependant on the for- 
tunes of France, to which, from that time, they would have been 
inseparably united. 

Sixthly — ^He neglected for a long space of time, to use with 
sincerity, diligence and prudence the means which were put in his 
power by the President, for satisfying the Directory of France, that 
the conmiercial treaty with Great Britain was proper and necessary 
for the peace and prosperity of the United States, and did not im- 
pair any prior obligations with France, or any other nation, and 
did not proceed from any motives unfriendly to France, as had 

115 



1« SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

been unwisely and wickedly misrepresented on both sides the 
water, and that it was the invariable and anxious determination of 
the Executive to preserve the most friendly intercourse between 
the two Republics. 

Let these various acts of misconduct be connected, and they ^ 

lay a solid foundation for the measure which dismissed Mr. Mon- 
roe from public service, and create a murmur against the late 
President, for his long forbearance. I shall proceed to examine 
them with the light of the documents, for it is by them only that 
the mind, inquisitive after truth, will be preserved from the path 
of deception. 

No. III. 

ON the 2d of August, 1794, Mr. Monroe arrived at Paris, 
the successor of Mr. G. Morris, who had imprudently dis- 
pleased the Republic, and who for that reason, at the re> 
quest of the committee of safety, had been recalled. He carried i 

with him ample testimony of the sincere good will of all the de- 
partments of the government of the United States to the French 
nation, and to the Revolution in which it was engaged. On tKe 
14th of August he was admitted into the hall of the Convention, 
when he presented his credentials and delivered the declarationsof 
the Senate and House of Representatives, with which he was 
charged, and at the same time assured the convention that the 
President was actuated by similar sentiments. In giving an ac- 
count of this transaction, on the 25th of the same month, he writes 
thus — "The communication was received in a manner very in- 
teresting, and which furnished at the same time the strongest 
proof of the a£Fection entertained by the French nation for the « 

United States of America. The enclosed No. 8, is a copy of my , 

address to the Convention, and of the President's answer. Every 
department has since shewn the strongest disposition to prove its | 

attachment to their ally, by embracing every opportunity which 
the slightest incident has offered." — (Page 17.) This disposition^ 

IK 



ON MONROE'S VIEW IS 

SO propitious to America, when his ministerial fmictions were com- 
menced, cannot be attributed to him, as he seems to wish his readers 
to believe; for as yet he had only been received or acknowledged: 
nor is it consistent with what he states in his view, when he says 
that he found on his arrival "'that the work of alienation and dis- 
union had been carried further than he had before suspected," and 
*'that things were in a train for an entire separation of the two 
countries'^ — page 7.) It is remarkable that Mr. Monroe did not 
intimate to the executive any dissatisfaction of the French Coun- 
cils with the American Administration, until in his letter of the 
12th of February, 1795, more than six months after his arrival; 
when he had occasion to apoligize for some of his misdoings, which 
had been reprimanded by the Executive on the 2d of December, 
1794. No such thing is to be found in his letters dated 15th Sep- 
tember, 16th October, 7th November, 20th November, or 2d De- 
cember, 1794. I cannot therefore but think that Mr. Monroe 
has not in his book represented with candor the dispositions of 
France during the first months of his mission, and that he is still 
more in the wrong when he arrogates to himself the merit of im- 
pressing the Convention with sentiments of moderation and jus- 
tice towards the United States. The favorable dispositions of the 
Republic proceeded from the state of public affairs at that time. 
Robespierre and the faction of terrorists had been just cut off; the 
armies were every where victorious; and thus secure at home, and 
prosperous abroad, a spirit of moderation and equity prevailed in 
the Convention for a little while, and was pervading Prance: be- 
sides, there was a real want of provisions. Under such circum- 
stances, it was impossible not to obtain jyramises .of satisfaction for 
all our just complaints, as well as a removal of the causes from 
whence they had arisen: and thus the alterations for the better 
which took place at this period were the natural result of public 
events, and not the consequence of our minister's exertions, as he 
most vainly pretends. 

117 



14 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

The first act of misconduct which I have proposed to illus- 
trate is, that he represented to the committee of public safety that 
he was not instructed to complain of the decree of May 179S, 
which, dispensing with some of the articles of the Treaty of amity 
and commerce, was attended with the most ruinous effects on the 
American commerce. This is inunediately connected with the 
second — ^his information to the committee that he well hnew^ that 
if upon experience it should be their opinion that it produced any 
solid good to the B^public to disregard those articles of the Treaty, 
the American Government and his countrymen would not only 
bear with the departure with patience^ but with pUaaure. These 
are so united in the documents, that they shall be considered to- 
gether. 

A decree of the French Republic had been made in May, 1798» 
authorising the seizure of enemy's property in neutral vessels' 
which was in force when Minister Monroe arrived in Paris, and 
under which the Americans had suffered and were suffering much 
vexation and injury in their commerce. His predecessor it ap- 
pears by several letters of the Secretary of State, had remonstrated 
against it, and was endeavouring to produce a repeal of it when 
he was superceded; and not only the existence of the decree, but 
the ruinous effects of it, were notorious from one end of the Conti- 
nent to the other. Upon this subject the Secretary of State wrote 
to Mr, Monroe on the 10th of June, as follows, "But you will go 
farther, and insist upon compensation for the captors and spoli- 
ations of our property, and injuries to the persons of our citizens 
by French cruisers" — (page 5); and on the 80th of July, as fol- 
lows: "The cases of spoliation and vexation from the French 
cruisers on our trade, I again most earnestly recommend to your 
anxious attention. Mr. Fauchet has promised to forward a rec- 
ommendation of them to his government. You will do well to 
press ihe principle without delay; and if doubts are entertained as 
to facts, put the subjects into a train for the most early decision. 

118 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 15 

The French Republic will surely never suffer us to he plundered by 
their citizens; and that we have greatly suffered by their plunder- 
ing, the papers accompanying this letter, if they be true, manifest. 
We are not less disturbed at the conduct concerning the embargo 
at Bourdeaux. If the account brought hither lately by one of the 
captains who were detained there be genuine, the promise of com- 
pensation has been illusory only. You are therefore again charged 
to make this also your special and immediate business; and to press 
the rights of our citizens in a manner which indicates that we cannot 
wave the justice due to us. In short, sir, it is the express instruction 
of the President, that you diligently inquire into every inconven- 
ience to which our trade has been subjected, and to remonstrate 
strongly upon them, and represent the facts to us fully and min- 
utely. Had not Mr. Morris so strenuously pressed the a£Fair of 
the ship Laurens J of Charleston, which is committed to your care^ 
I would repeat here all the circumstances. But these may be ob- 
tained as well from Mr. Morris, as from the French archives. 
The decrees upon which the conduct of the French Republic was 
founded in this case, which I note particularly on account of those 
decrees, have also been remonstrated against by Mr. Morris, and 
I question whether much matter can be added to his observations. 
But such of those decrees as tend to the condemnation of the Laurens^ 
are gross violations of our rights — ^You no doubt will have resumed 
this subject immediately on your arrival, and you are at liberty to 
speak in a firm and decisive tone, taking care to avoid o£Fence, or 
in any degree to weaken the friendship between the two countries.'^ 
— (page 55.) 

With these instructions, it is evident how the Minister should 
have conducted himself. Let us next inquire what was his con- 
duct; whether, as I have stated, he did represent to the committee 
that he was not directed to complain of the decree contravening 
the treaty of amity and commerce, and whether he informed the 
committee that his government and countrymen would bear with 

110 



1 



16 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

patience and with pleaaure a departure from the Treaty, if such was 
the interest of France. 

No- IV. 

IT appears that on the Sd of September he presented to the com* 
mittee of public safety his first state paper, in which he requests 
payment of the claims of our citizens for supplies, compensa- 
tion for the embargo at Bourdeauz, and for the injuries to our com- 
merce in consequence of the departure, on the part of France, from 
the 2Sd and 24th articles of the treaty. This last he urges by many 
pertinent remarks, shewing it the interest of France to repeal the 
decree, but concludes with declaring he is not instructed to com^ 
plain of or request the repeal of the decree authorising a departure 
from those articles. His words are — ^**It is my duty to observe to 
you, that I am under no instruction to complain of or request a 
repeal of the decree authorising a departure from the 2Sd and 24th 
articles of the treaty of amity and conmierce; on the contrary, / 
weU know, that if upon consideration, after the experiment made, 
you should he of opinion that it produces any solid benefit to the Re- 
public, the American government, and my countrymen in general, 
unll not only bear the departure with patience, but with pleasure.** — 
(pageS4.) 

On the 16th of October he presented another note, in which he 
concisely mentions the same subject, three subjects, and of the 
contravention of the treaty he merely says, ^'Nor shall I add any 
thing upon the third point to change the principle upon which I 
rested it" — (page 63.) This principle had been declared to be, \ 

that it was the interest of France to repeal the decree, and to con- 
form to the treaty; but if the committee thought otherwise, the 
United States would bear with pleasure whatever losses and vexa- 
tions the citizens should suffer in their conmierce under the op- 
eration of the decree. 

120 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 17 

Mr. Monroe, on the 7th November, before which time he 
had received Secretary Randolph's letter of the SOth July, wrote 
to the Secretary as follows: "I felt extremely embarrassed how 
to touch again their infringement of the treaty of commerce; 
whether to call on them to execute it, or leave the question an the 
ground on which I had at first placed it. You desired me in your 
last to contest with them the principle; but yet this did not amount 
to an instruction, nor even convey your idea that it would he advisable 
to demand of them the execution of those articles. Upon full consid- 
eration, therefore, I concluded that it was the most safe and sound 
polipy to leave this point where it was before, and in which I was 
the more confirmed by some circumstances that were afterwards 
disclosed. 

The day after this last communication was presented I re- 
ceived a letter from the committee, assuring me that the subject 
engrossed their entire attention, and that an answer should be 
given as soon as possible; and a few days after this I was favoured 
with another, inviting me to a conference at 12 the next day. I 
attended and found only the three members of the diplomatic 
branch of the committee present. Merlin de Douay, Thuriot and 
Treilhard. Merlin commenced, by observing that I had advised 
and pressed them to execute the 23d and 24th articles of the treaty 
of amity and commerce; that they were persuaded their compliance 
would he useful to us, but very detrimental to them; it would likewise 
be distressing for Frenchmen to see British goods protected by our 
flag, whilst it gave no protection to theirs; and after making other 
comments, he finally came to this point — ^"^Do you insist upon dur 
exec:ii|ing the treaty?'' I replied / had nothing new to add to what 
I had already said on that head. — Treilhard seemed surprised at the 
reply, and expressed a wish that I would declare myself frankly on 
the subject. I told him I was surprised at his remark, since I had 
not declared myself frankly but liberally. We then passed from 
the point of demand to a more general discussion of the policy in 

121 



v 



18 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

France to execute the treaty, and in which I urged that if she con- 
sidered her own interest only, she ought not to hesitate, since it 
gave her the command of neutral bottoms, and under the pro* 
tection of their own flag to supply her wants, with other consider- 
ations which had been before pressed in my notes that were before 
them. I was however brought back twice again to the question^ 
'Mo you insist upon or demand it?" I found that a positive and 
formal declaration on this point was the sole object of the inter- 
view; and as I perceived that something was intended to be founded 
on it, either now or hereafter, if given in the affirmative, I was the 
more resolved to avoid it, and to adhere to the ground I had already 
taken. / therefore repeated my declaration^ and in the most explicit 
terms, that I was not instructed by the President to insist on it, nor 
did I insist on U. That their compUance would certainly be highly 
beneficial to my country, but that in my observations I had con- 
sidered the proposition merely in relation to France, and wished them 
to do the same, since I was satisfied that the true interest of France 
dictated the measure. They all expressed an attachment to us; 
spoke much of the difficulty of their situation, and of the peculiar 
delicacy in adopting, in the present state of the public mind, any 
measure which might be construed as eventually favouring Eng- 
land, and thus the conference ended. 

In revolving on the subject ever since, I have been doubtful 
whether the solicitude shewn to draw from me a decisive answer to 
the question ''whether I insisted or demanded of them to execute 
the articles of the treaty," was merely intended as the basis of their 
own act complying with it, and a justification for themselves, in 
so doing, or as a ground to call on us hereafter in the prosecution 
of the war against England to fulfil the guarantee. I was at the 
moment of the discussion in the committee of the latter opinion; 
but I must confess, upon a more general view of all circumstances 
that have passed under my observation since my arrival, that I 
am at present inclined to be of the former. I rather think as there 

122 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 19 

is an opposition to the measure, and it would commence an im* 
portant change in their system, and might also be construed into 
a partiality for England (a nation by no means in favor here) that 
a dread of denunciation in the course of events suggested it. Be 
this as it may, I am perfectly satisfied it would be impolitic to 
demand it^ since the refusal would weaken the connection between the 
tuoo countries^ and the compliance upon that motive might perhaps 
not only produce the same effect, but likewise excite a disposition to 
press us on other points, upon which it were better to avoid any dis- 
cussion*^ — (page 58.) 

This letter appears to me to contain too important information 
to be abridged, and therefore it has been so largely quoted. It 
not only proves that Mr. Monroe persisted in not demanding an 
execution of the 2Sd and 24th articles, but that he did worse; he 
agreed with the committee of public safety that those articles 
might be disregarded on the part of France. Moreover it fur- 
nishes conclusive proof that the system of commercial warfare at 
this day carried on by the French Republic originated from an 
opinion that the people of the United States would bear with pa- 
tience, and even with pleasure, whatever losses it should occasion, 
provided the good of France should be promoted; an opinion that 
the minister of the United States, of his mere motion, suggested, 
and endeavored to impress on the mind of France. I have heard 
it frequently said that the imjust and injurious measures of the 
French Republic towards our commerce were recommended, were 
advised, were induced by certain characters who compose and lead 
the French faction in the United States. I had doubted this, but 
since I have read this letter no doubt remains. In vain shall Mr. 
Monroe, or his co-adjutors, endeavor to persuade the intelligent 
part of the community that the injuries we daily feel from the hand 
of France proceed entirely from their dissatisfaction on account of 
the British treaty. I say it proceeds from the opinion which has 
been inculcated with industry, that the great body of the Ameri- 
can people are so blindly attached to the French Republic that they 

12S 



20 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

will not complain of any thing that France can do to them, and 
that their love to republicanism will never permit them to resent 
any measures that France may choose to take to promote its 
welfare. In short, to a belief of the Directory (as Mr. Monroe 
expresses it) that if upon consideration after experiment made, the 
French should be of opinion that a departure of the treaty would 
produce any solid benefit to the Republic, the American government 
and the people in general, would not only bear the departure unth 
patience, but with pleasure. 

I cannot quit this subject without a short review of Mr. Mon- 
roe's conduct, as presented by the dociunents that have been 
cited. — ^It appears he had originally, of his own accord, in his first 
written communication informed the committee of public safety 
that he was not instructed to complain of their departure from the 
treaty, and if they found it their interest to continue to do so, his 
countrymen would bear it with pleasure. He repeated the same 
idea in another solemn communication afterwards, at a conference 
with the members charged with diplomatic concerns; he is informed 
"that they were persuaded their compliance would be useful to 
the United States, but very detrimental to them;'* and is asked 
whether he insisted on their executing the treaty, to which he re- 
plied he had nothing new to add to what he had already said on that 
head. This was an explicit concession on his part, so far as he 
could concede, that the treaty in certain particulars need not be 
regarded: it was more; it was a compact or agreement between him 
and the conunittee, that those articles might be disregarded. 
When he had condescended to inform the committee that if a de- 
parture from the treaty, on experiment, turned out to the advan- 
tage of the Republic, it would not be complained of, but borne 
with pleasure by the United States; and when the committee in- 
formed him "they were persuaded their compliance would be det- 
rimental to France," to which he replied that he had nothing more 
to add, it seems to me that a contract, complete in all its parts, 

124 



ON MONROE'S VIEW £1 

was formally made; a contract, however not admitted to be bind- 
ing on the United States, because there is no evidence that it was 
within the compass of the powers committed to Mr. Monroe; but 
on the contrary, to have been not only unauthorised, but contrary 
to the part which he was instructed to act relative to this subject. 
I should not be surprised, however, if France should take it as a 
basis for justifying the spoliations and injuries done to our com- 
merce; for it furnishes a better excuse than I supposed existed. 

No. V. 

AT most of this transaction I am not astonished, as it may 
have proceeded from violent prejudice in favor of France, 
from a disregard of the opinions of the Executive, and a 
desire to appear aU-importarU in the eyes of his favorite nation; but 
I am astonished to find that while Mr. Monroe insists, and insists 
with great strength of reasoning, that a compliance with the Treaty 
would be highly beneficial to France and equally beneficial to the 
United States, that he did not demand a compliance. Both coun- 
tries being interested in its execution, it was inexcusable not to 
have demanded it. But he attempts to excuse himself by saying 
he was afraid France would have in turn demanded a compliance 
with the guarantee stipulation. This was a vain fear; France 
knew well that the casus foederis had not occurred, and in the state 
of the present war and of public affairs, that such a demand could 
not be made with justice or reason. — ^Above all, Mr. Monroe 
diould have borne in mind that his country is always animated 
with the purest sentiments of honor and good faith, and always 
ready to meet the claims of foreign nations, and by these principles 
to try them. He should have reflected that at the helm of Amer- 
ican affairs was placed a man who well understood the interests of 
his country, as well as the extent of the national engagements; and 
he should not have presumed to neglect or counteract the obvious 
intentions of the Executive. From whence did Mr. Monroe take 

125 



22 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

up the notion that he was not to complain of the decree contra- 
vening the treaty? His predecessor remonstrated against it; the 
injuries arising from it had reached every part of the continent; it 
was neither the will of the President or of the people that they 
should be continued ; wherefore, then, did he encourage France to 
continue the system of perfidy and depredation? Why did he 
debase his country at the feet of France, by telling the Republic to 
trample on our conmierce, and we would smile under our indigni- 
ties and losses? What o£Fence had his country done him, that he 
should take this severe revenge? Why should its minister prostrate 
it in the dust by a declaration no less abject than pernicious — by 
a policy which, while it exposed the United States to utter con- 
tempt, became the source of present and I fear of future ills ? 

These instances of misconduct being fully evident, let us next 
see what the President did when they became known to him. It 
is to be lamented he had not then displaced him. He only repri- 
manded him, as appears in his letter dated 2d. December, in the 
following terms: "In your letter you say that you have not been 
instructed to desire a repeal of the decree which violated the 2Sd 
and 24th articles of the Treaty of commerce; that you did not know 
but it had been tolerated from the soundest motives of political 
expedience, lest the demand for the rescinding it might produce a 
call for the guarantee. Indeed you have gone further; having de- 
clared in your memorial that you were under no instruction to 
complain of or request the repeal of the decree authorising a de- 
parture from those articles, and 'that if upon re-consideration, 
after the experiment be made, the committee of public safety 
should be of opinion that it produces any solid benefit to the 
French Republic, the American government, and your country- 
men in general, would not only bear the departure with patience^ 
but with pleasure.' 

The fourth head of injury stated in your letter, shews that you 
were possessed of cases which turned entirely upon the impro- 

126 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 28 

priety of the decree, and such too was certainly the fact. Now, 
without the abrogation of the decree, so far as it respected those 
cases, the redress which you were instructed to demand could not 
be obtained. In truth, there was no cause or pretence for asking 
relief but upon the ground of that decree having violated the 
Treaty. Does not this view lead to the inevitable conclusion that 
the decree, if operative in future instances, would be no less dis- 
agreeable, and consequently, that its operation in future instances 
ought to be prevented, a circumstance which could be accomplished 
only by a total repeal? The papers of the ship Laurens contained 
a reference to one or more representations of Mr. Morris against 
the decree; so that the business had been actually broken to the 
French government. Neither these representations, nor yet your 
application appears to have suggested a requisition of the guaran- 
tee. 

But, my good sir, let these things be as they will, was it neces- 
sary to intimate that an indifference prevailed in our government 
as to these articles, by a declaration that you were not instructed 
to complain of the decree? I confess I am unapprised of the data 
upon which such an opinion could be founded; and undoubtedly 
the President himself would not undertake that the people of the 
United States would bear with patience a departure from stipu- 
lations which are generally believed to be important to us." — 
(page 116.) 

It is true it happened soon after this, in January, 1795, that 
the French Bepublic saw cause to repeal the decree, and perhaps 
this occasioned the President to take no further notice of the mis- 
conduct of the Minister relative to this subject. But surely after 
reading the foregoing documents, few will pretend that Mr. Mon- 
roe's misrepresentations or concessions contributed to produce 
that effect. I know he has had the assurance to ascribe to himself 
the merit of this repeal, which without any doubt was the conse- 
quence of the then state of affairs in France. On the other hand, 

127 



£4 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

I ascribe to his doctrine of implicit submission to the will of a for* 
eign power, which the French have been made to believe influences 
America with regard to them, their present system towards us; a 
system which having modified our Treaty with France on this 
principle, is so baneful to our commerce and so dishonorable to our 
national character. Indeed, it must be acknowledged that Mr. 
Monroe expressed himself to the committee "not only frankly 
but liberally,'* as he says, when he agreed that France might dis- 
pense with certain articles of the treaty, if it appeared to them ad- 
vantageous so to do. To what length the Republic will carry this 
concession is beyond my power to predict. — It shall be left to 
the unfolding hand of time. 

No. VI. 

I HAVE fully shewn from the letters of the Executive, that Mr. 
Monroe was directed to complain of and remonstrate against 
the decree derogatory of the treaty of amity and commerce, 
and from his own commimication that he represented to the French 
Republic that he was not instructed to complain of that decree. 

I have also as fully shewn, that Mr. Monroe, disregarding 
the sentiments of the President, and unmindful of the honor and 
interests of his country, declared frequently to the committee of 
public safety that the government and the people of the United 
States would bear with a departure from the treaty, not only with 
patience but with pleasure, if on experience France should find it 
for her interest. I have cited the reprimand he received for these 
instances of misconduct, which in my humble judgment was far 
from adequate to the oflfence. What oflFence could be greater than 
unauthorisedly to dispense with a treaty, and to surrender the 
commerce of his country to the discretion of a foreign power? 
What oflfence could be greater than to communicate and to estab- 
lish an opinion in the French Republic, that whatever it might 

128 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 25 

think proper to do to our commerce would be borne with pleasure, 
if it conduced to the advantage of France? 

I have shewn too that this opinion of the French of our pref- 
erence of their interest to our own, which our minister inculcated, 
and which so many gazettes and so many occurrences have con- 
tributed to confirm, is the true source of the insults and injuries 
which our citizens are now, and for a long time have been suffering. 
If these things have been demonstrated, and I think the documents 
imdeniably evince them, what irreparable injuries have not Mr. 
Monroe and the French faction done to America? Let me dis- 
miss this painful subject by calling the attention of the reader to 
an assertion of the ex-minister, particularly remarkable for its 
want of candour. He says, that a few days after the letter of 
reprimand, another letter, on the 5th of December, was written 
to him, which seemed to contain an apology for the harsh language 
of the former. This letter of the 5th of December, does not relate 
to any matter complained of in that of the 2d. It acknowledges 
the receipt of his letters of the 10th and 25th of August, and ob- 
serves on the contents of these letters, neither of which furnished 
any cause of complaint. For further satisfaction, let the reader 
peruse the letter itself — (page 125.) 

The Sd instance of misconduct which I proposed for consid- 
eration was, that Mr. Monroe represented in positive terms to 
the committee of public safety that Mr. Jay's mission was limited 
to two objects only : a compensation for spoliations, and a surrender 
of the posts, which representation is not warranted by his instruc- 
tions. The Secretary of State urges this language. "We mean to 
continue the same line of conduct in future; and to remove all 
jealousy with respect to Mr. Jay's mission to London, you may 
say that he is positively forbidden to weaken the engagements be- 
tween this country and France. It is not improbable that you 
will be obliged to encounter on this head suspicions of various 
kinds; but you may declare the motives of that mission to be to oh- 

129 



26 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

tain immediate compensation for our plundered property ^ and res- 
tUution of the posts**— {pa^e 2.) No one can be at a loss to under- 
stand these expressions; nor can it be doubted that the motives of 
the mission to London were such as are here declared. If the posts 
had been in our possession, and if no spoliations on our coounerce 
had been committed, our complaints against Great Britain on 
other accounts would have remained to be negociated by the very 
able minister resident at London. But the spoliations, and the 
detention of the posts, were evils too heavy any longer to be borne, 
and before an appeal was made to the God of battles, a solemn and 
last appeal was to be made to the justice and good faith of the 
British nation. While these principal matters should be under ad- 
justment, it was reasonable to expect all those of a secondary con- 
sequence would also be considered, and that one treaty would com- 
prehend all the subjects which were in difiPerence between the two 
nations. As it was only by a treaty that the difiPerences could be 
compromised, and as one of our greatest complaints against Great- 
Britain had constantly been that she refused to make a conmiercial 
treaty with us, and as future injuries to our commerce would be 
most surely prevented by a treaty of commerce, it followed of 
course that a commercial treaty on good terms would be very ac- 
ceptable to us, if it could be obtained from that nation. How 
strange then must it appear, that Mr. Monroe did not rightly 
represent Mr. Jay's mission, and that he should never have used 
the words or the substance of the words of the Secretary of State, 
though he purposely met the committee to address them on this 
subject. What passed between him and the committee deserves 
particular notice. 

In his letter dated the 2d of December, 1794, to Secretary 
Randolph, he mentions that he had sought and obtained an in- 
terview with the diplomatic members of the committee, for the 
purpose of removing unfavorable suspicions which were entertained 
concerning the mission to London. What passed at this meeting 

ISO 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 27 

relative to this object is stated by him in the following words: 
""By another I was asked whether Mr. Jay was still in London, and 
whether he intended to come over to Paris, as had been published 
in an English paper. This was the suspicion I wished to combat 
and remove, though indeed I did not expect it would have been 
avowed in so abrupt a manner; I replied I could not tell whether 
he had returned or not; but that it was impossible the paragraph in 
the English paper should be true, as he was sent to England upon 
an especial business only, to demand reparation for injuries, and 
to which his authority was strictly limited" — (page 90.) In his 
pamphlet he informs the public, that he replied '^the report could 
not be true, since Mr. Jay was sent to England upon special bus- 
iness only, to demand compensation for the depredations on our 
trade, and the surrender of the western poets^ to which his authority 
was strictly limited." The variance between the two statements 
may not be deemed material; but if it be, and if the latter was the 
purport of Mr. Monroe's representation, as Mr. Purviance 
certifies, it follows that our Minister has been guilty of two mis- 
representations; 1st, a misrepresentation to the committee of the 
powers of Mr. Jay being strictly limited to spoliations and the 
posts; and 2dly, a misrepresentation to the Executive of the mis- 
representation he made to the committee. 

It is true, that Mr. Monroe admits in his publication that the 
nature and object of Mr. Jay's mission to England had been mis- 
represented through him to the French government — (page 29). 
I ask whose fault was this? Had he adverted to the words of 
Secretary Randolph, and conformed to them or to their meaning, 
he would not have been guilty of misrepresenting to the conmiittee 
that Mr. Jay's powers were limited solely and exclusively to spo- 
liations on our commerce, and the detention of our posts. All 
that Secretary Randolph said to Minister Monroe was, that Mr. 
Jay was restrained from contravening any former treaties with 
other nations, and the motives of the mission were to obtain com- 

181 



28 SC1PI0*S REFLECTIONS 

pensation for spoliations, and a surrender of the posts. If the 
minister had thus represented the mission he would have been cor- 
rect; but he institutes another language, and very different ideas. 
He says ""Mr. Jat was sent to England upon an especial business 
onltfy to demand reparation for injuries, and to which his atUhority 
was strictly limited.^* Having thus misrepresented this matter to 
the committee, he most audaciously undertakes to cast the blame 
of it on the Executive of the United States; as if the Executive 
could supply him with intelligence of mind or rectitude of principle^ 
in case either were wanting. The words of Secretary Randolph 
were plain, open and artless. 

One would expect that Mr. Monroe would have gone to the 
conference which the committee granted to him, well prepared 
upon the topic which he intended to introduce, and that his in- 
structions on that were thoroughly understood. Yet the reverse 
appears to have been the case, and it was on this occasion that the 
misrepresentation was made. It may be asked, what should he 
have said? I answer he should have used the words of Secretary 
Randolph; he might have added that his country, the United 
States of America, having received many injuries from Great Brit- 
ain, had sent an envoy to demand satisfaction and to prevent com- 
plaints, by placing the intercourse between the two nations upon 
the stable principles of justice and benevolence, and that it was the 
earnest desire of America to live in peace and harmony with all the 
nations of the earth. Most especially, he should not have so mis- 
stated the mission, as to lay a certain foundation for the future 
disappointment and discontent of the French Republic, in case it 
succeeded. 

No. VII. 

I PROCEED now to the examination of the fourth instance of 
misconduct in Mr. Monroe, which has been specified. He 
promised to the committee of public safety , unnecessarily and im- 
properly to communicate to them the stipulations of the treaty negoei-^ 

182 



V 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 29 

ated with Great Britain^ so soon as they shoidd be known to him; and 
before the treaty could possibly have been sent to the United States^ he 
sent a special messenger to London to obtain a copy for the particidar 
purpose of laying it before the committee^ and pertinaciously refused to 
know from Mr. Jay the contents of the treaty , unless permitted to com-- 
municate them to the committee. 

Before any remarks are made, it will be necessary to recite 
the several letters which passed upon this subject. On the 27th 
December, 1794, the conmiittee wrote to Mr. Monroe as follows: 
We are informed. Citizen, that there was lately concluded at Lon- 
don a treaty of alliance and commerce between the British govern- 
ment and Citizen Jat, envoy extraordinary of the United States. 

A vague report spreads itself, that in this treaty the citizen 
Jay has forgotten those things which our treaties with the American 
people and the sacrifices which the French people made to render 
them free, gave us a right to expect on the part of a minister of a 
nation which we have so many motives to consider as friendly. It 
is important that we know positively in what light we are to hold 
this affair. There ought not to subsist between two free people the 
dissimulation which belongs to courts, and it gives us pleasure to 
declare that we consider you as much opposed personally to that 
kind of policy as we ourselves. We invite you then to communicate 
to us as soon as possible the treaty whereof there is question. It is the 
only means whereby you enable the French nation ju^Uy to appreciate 
those reports^ so injurious to the American govemmenU and to which 
that treaty gave birth' ^ — (page 103.) 

To this letter our minister answered the same day, in the fol- 
foUowing words; "I was favoured this morning with yours of 
yesterday, intimating that the report of a treaty, said to be con- 
cluded by Mr. Jay, envoy extraordinary of the United States to 
England, with that nation, derogatory to the treaties of alliance 
and commerce subsisting between those states and this Republic, 

1S3 



80 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

had given you some disquietude, and requesting information from 
me upon that point. I obey the invitation with pleasure, because 
I well know that a candid policy is that alone which becomes re- 
publics, and because it is likewise most correspondent with the 
wishes of the Amercian government and my own feelings. 

Having already communicated to you the limited object of Mr. 
Jay's mission, it only remains for me to inform you what I know 
of the result. All that I know upon this subject is comprised in a 
letter received yesterday from Mr. Jat, of November 25th in which 
he says that he had fulfilled the principal object of his mission by 
concluding a treaty, signed on the 19th of the same month, which 
contains a declaration ''that it should not be construed nor operate 
contrary to our existing treaties, and that therefore our engage- 
ments are not affected by it." He adds, that as the treaty is not 
yet ratified, it would be improper to publish it. I am altogether 
ignorant of the particular stipulations of the treaty ^ but beg leave to 
assure^ that as soon as I shall be informed thereof^ I will communicate 
the same to you. I take it however for granted, that the report is 
without foundation; for I cannot believe that an American min- 
ister would ever forget the connections between the United States 
and France, which every day's experience demonstrates to be the 
interest of both Republics still further to cement." The letter of 
Mr. Jay, to which Mr. Monroe refers, is as follows : 

"London, Nov. 25, 1794 
Sir, 

By a letter written and sent a few days ago, I had the pleasure 
of informing you, that on the 19th inst. the principal business of 
my mission was concluded by a treaty signed on that day. It con- 
tains a declaration that it shall not be construed nor operate con- 
trary to our existing treaties; as, therefore, our engagements with 
other nations remain imaffected by it, there is reason to hope that 
our preserving peace and good understanding with this country ^ vnU 

184 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 



SI 



not give uneaMness to any other. As the treaty is not yet ratified^ 
it would be improper to publish it. It appears to me to be upon 
the whole fair, and as equal as could be expected. In some re- 
spects both nations will probably be pleased, and in others dis- 
pleased." 

The letter to which Mr. Jay refers is dated 24th November, 
and is as follows: *'Sir, It gives me pleasure to inform you, that a 
treaty between the United States and his Britannic Majesty was 
signed on the 19th inst. This circumstance ought not to give any 
uneasiness to the Convention. The treaty expressly declares that 
nothing contained in it shall be construed or operate contrary to 
existing treaties between the United States and other powers. I 
flatter myself that the United States, as well as all their minis- 
ters, will upon every occasion manifest the most scrupulous 
regard to good faith, and that those nations who wish ris welly will 
he pleased with our preserving peace and good understanding with 
others.^* 

A few days after this, Mr. Jat, on the 28th of November, wrote 
to Mr. Monroe; "As Mr. Pinckney has a cypher with our min- 
isters in Europe, either he or I will shortly use it in communicating 
to you the principal heads of the treaty confidentially. You need 
not hesitate in the mean time to say explicitly, that it contains 
nothing repugnant to our engagements with any other nation.'' 
To this letter Mr. Monroe, on the 17th of January, 1795, returned 
this answer: "Sir, Early in December last, English papers were re- 
ceived here, containing such accounts of your adjustment with the 
British administration as excited much uneasiness in the councils 
of this government, and I had in contemplation to dispatch a con- 
fidential person to you, for such information of what had been done 
as would enable me to remove it. At that moment, however, I 
was favored with yours of the 25th November, intimating that the 
contents of the treaty could not be made known until it was rat- 
ified: but that I might say it contained nothing derogatory to our 

135 










82 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 



existing treaties with other powers. Thus advised, I thought it 
improper to make the application, because I concluded the arrange- 
ment was mutual, and not to be departed from. I proceeded there- 
fore to make the best in my power of the information already 
given. To-day, however, I was favoured with yours of the 28th ^ 

of the same month, by which I find you consider yourself at liberty \ 

to communicate to me the contents of the treaty; and as it is of 
great importance to our affairs here to remove all doubt upon this 
point, I have thought it proper to resume my original plan of send- 
ing to you for the necessary information, and have in consequence 
dispatched the bearer, Mr. John Purviance, for that purpose. 
I have been the more induced to this from the further consideration, 
that in case I should be favoured with the communication prom- 
ised in cypher, it would be impossible for me to comprehend it, 
as Mr. Morris took his with him. Mr. Purviance is from Mary- 
land, a gentleman of integrity and merit, and to whom you may 
commit whatever you may think proper to confide with perfect 
safety. It is necessary, however, to observe^ that as nothing will 
satisfy this government but a copy of the instrument itself ^ and which 
as our ally it thinks itself entitled to; so it will be useless for me to 
make to it any new communication shoH of that. I mention this that 
you may know precisely the state of my engagements here^ and how 
I deem it my duty to act under them in relation to this object. I beg 
leave to refer you to Mr. Purviance for whatever information you 
may wish on this subject, or the affairs more generally of the Re- 
public" — (page 113.) To this letter Mr. Jat answered on the 5th 
of February; "Sir, I have received the letter you did me the honor 
to write on the 17th of last month, by Mr. Purviance. 

It is much to be regretted, that any unauthorised accoimts in 
English newspapers of my adjustment with the British Adminis- 
tration, should have excited much imeasiness in the councils of the 
French government; and the more so, as it does not imply that con- 
fidence in the honor and good faith of the United States which 

186 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 88 

they certainly merit. You must be sensible that the United States, 
as a free and independent nation, have an imquestionable right to 
make any pacific arrangements with other powers which mutual 
convenience may dictate; provided those arrangements do not con- 
tradict or oppugn their prior engagements with other states. 

Whether this adjustment was consistent with our treaty with 
France, struck me as being the only question which could demand 
or receive the consideration of that Republic; and I thought it 
due to the friendship subsisting between the two countries that the 
French government should have, without delay, the most perfect 
satisfaction on that head. I therefore, by three letters, viz. the 
24th, 25th and 28th of November, 1794, gave you what I hoped 
would be very acceptable and satisfactory information on that 
point : I am happy in this opportunity of giving you an exact and 
literal extract from the treaty; it is in these words, viz. 

'Nothing in this treaty contained shall however be construed 
or operate contrary to former or existing public treaties with other 
sovereigns or states.' 

Considering that events favourable to our country could not 
fail to give you pleasure, I did intend to commimicate to you some 
of the most interesting particulars of this treaty, but in the most 
^perfect confidence : as that instrument has not yet been ratified, nor 
received the ultimate forms to give it validity; as further question 
respecting parts of it may yet arise, and give occasion to further 
discussions and negociations, so that if finally concluded at all, it 
may then be different from what it now is, the impropriety of mak- 
ing it public at present is palpable and obvious. Such a proceeding 
would be inconvenient and unprecedented. It does not belong 
to ministers who negociate treaties to publish them even when per- 
fected, much less treaties not yet completed, and remaining open 
to alteration or rejection; such acts belong exclusively to the gover- 
ments who form them. 

187 



84 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

I cannot but flatter myself that the present government is too 
enlightened and reasonable to expect that any consideration ought 
to induce me to overlook the bounds of my authority, or to be 
negligent of the respect which is due to the United States. Tfuxt 
respecty and my obligatwns to observe it^ wiJl not permit me to give 
rmthout the permission of their govemmentf a copy of the inslrwment 
in question to any person^ or for any purpose; and by no m^eans for 
the purpose of being submitted to the consideration and judgment of 
the councils of a foreign nation^ however friendly. I wHl^ Sir, take 
the earliest opportunity of transmitting a copy of your Utter to me, and 
of this answer to U to the Secretary of State, and vnU immediately and 
punctually execute such orders and instructions as I may receive on 
the subject. ^^ 

To this most excellent letter of Mr. Jat our minister at Paris 
could not, and therefore did not, return any answer; and so the cor- 
respondence was concluded between them, except that afterwards 
Mr. Tbumbull went to Paris, by whom Mr. Jay wrote again to 
Mr. Monroe, referring him, relative to the treaty, to verbal in- 
formation to be received from Mr. Trumbull in perfect confi-- 
dence; which also Mr. Monroe declined to accept upon these terms. 

No. VIII. 

UPON reading the preceding letters, every one must be struck 
with the contrast which tiiey present. If the indiscretion^ 
if the abject condescension, if the zeal of Mr. Monroe to 
serve the French Republic on this occasion, excite painful sensa- 
tions in the breast of every true American, the prudence, the inde- 
pendence of spirit, and the genuine patriotism which distinguish 
Mr. Jat ought to be a source of heartfelt pleasure. 

Our minister at Paris having misrepresented the mission to 
London, it was improbable, if not impossible that any treaty ne- 
gociated at Great Britain would not have been the subject of com- 

188 



ON MONROE'S VIEW S5 

plaints on the part of France. So hostile was France to Great 
Britain that it would have objected to any treaty whatever, and 
therefore those who wished to defeat any and every treaty, would 
endeavour to do so anterior to its ratification. With this view the 
committee of public safety were anxious to possess a copy of the 
treaty which was reported to have been negociated, and they re- 
quested Mr. Monroe to furnish them with the treaty itself as soon 
as possible, declaring that it was the only means that would satisfy 
them concerning it. What right had the committee to make this 
request? and why was it made in terms so full of insolence? The 
forms of our constitution are well known in France, and conse- 
quently they knew that the treaty had not been ratified when they 
desired a copy, and it was for the purpose of enabling them to in- 
terfere with effect in our national contracts, that the demand was 
made. But they are not ashamed to accompany this unwarrant- 
able request with a declaration that a sight of the treaty alone would 
satisfy them; in {Gainer words, that they would not believe any 
thing that Monroe our minister should tell them on the subject. 
That Mr. Monroe should be insensible to any insults offered to his 
country by France; or that he should yield to its demands, however 
improper, they who know his blind and fanatical attachments will 
suppose possible; but had he no feeling for his own honor, for his 
own reputation, when he was told by the committee, and in writ- 
ing too, that nothing but the treaty itself would satisfy them, or 
in other words they should not believe any thing he should say con- 
cerning it? To this demand, encroaching on our rights of sover- 
eignty and expressed in terms the most contemptuous, was no other 
answer to be given, than that he (Mr. Monroe) was then ignorant 
of the particular stipulations of the treaty, but he begged leave to 
assure them he would communicate the same to them as soon as 
he should be informed? He ought to have told the committee with 
manly candor, that the treaty could not be communicated in its 
present unfinished state to the councils of any foreign nation; and 
he might have repeated what by order of his government he had 

1S9 



S6 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

before told them, that no stipulation would be made inconsistent 
with the prior engagements of the United States to foreign nations; 
and he might have informed them, on the authority of our envoy, 
that no such stipulations had been made. 

The ex-minister was not satisfied with giving this evidence of 
his tame, mean-spirited deportment towards the committee; he 
went further, and made an effort to comply with their insolent and 
ill-intentioned request, by sending a special messenger to London 
for the treaty, even although he was informed by Mr. Jay that it 
was improper to publish the treaty without the express leave of 
government, before it was ratified, and was offered a copy of the 
treaty in perfect confidence only. In this letter he tells Mr. Jay, 
that he had promised to communicate the treaty to the committee 
who M allies, thought they were entitled to it, and said nothing less 
would satisfy them; for which purpose he had sent for it: and when 
this wise and steady statesman absolutely refused him a copy, for 
the very reason that induced the ex-minister to send for it, the re- 
fusal is taken sorely at heart, and is the subject of various and in- 
consistent complaints to the Secretary of State. At one time he 
laments that he was not possessed of information that might be 
useful to our affairs in France; and in the same letter, dated 17th 
March, 1795, says, if the communication had been made to him» 
he should have declared that on his own knowledge the treaty did 
not interfere with the prior engagements, but that being a mere 
project, subject to rejection, &c. it ought not to be published; and 
that this declaration would have been satisfactory to the committee 
— (page 142). To Mr. Jay, however, when he applied for the 
treaty, he said that nothing less than the treaty itself would sat- 
isfy the committee; that he had promised it to them, and had sent 
for it for their use; and he even added, that as allies they thought 
they had a right to it. Under these inconsistencies it is no wonder 
we find Mr. Monroe under constant embarrassments. When 
Mr. Jay offered the treaty to him in confidence, he refused to take 

140 



ON MONROE'S VIEW S7 

it, saying it would not answer his ends unless he could shew it to 
the committee; and that his promise to them required him to com- 
municate it whenever it should be in his power. It was then his 
own fault that he did not obtain, as he might have obtained, the 
treaty confidentially. If he had not been so kind and liberal in 
his promises, he would have got it, and on his own knowledge of it 
he might have represented it truly to the committee. It is true, 
when our envoy was desired to communicate it, to enable Mr. 
Monroe to perform this promise, he with great propriety abso* 
lutely refused to do so. If he had complied, after he knew the 
design of the request, he would have been equally culpable with Mr. 
Monroe. 

But the ex-minister affects to be perplexed relative to Mr. 
Jay's conduct, who, after informing him that the treaty could not 
be published^ offered to commimicate the contents to him in can-- 
Jidence. This was perfectly consistent and proper in our envoy, 
who no doubt supposed it might be useful to our public affairs that 
our minister at the French Republic should confidentially know the 
situation of his country in relation to so powerful a nation as 
Great Britain; and who also believed it was neither prudent nor 
necessary that our minister at Paris should communicate to the 
JFrench Republic whatever he knew concerning the United States. 
Another thing seems to the ex-minister very unaccountable, that 
Mr. Jay should offer to him the treaty, and then deny it. Let it 
be remembered he offered it in confidence, and denied it after Mr. 
Monroe had stated that his engagements to the committee re- 
quired him to lay the treaty before them whenever he got it; so 
that it was impossible to communicate it confidentially. 

As allies, it is said by the conmiittee, they had a right to in- 
49pect the treaty we were making with Great Britain. Did France 
ever exhibit to the President of the United States any of her trea- 
ties, either before or after they were concluded? This idea, so 
humiliating, does not appear to have been disapproved, but even 

141 



88 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

countenanced by our minister to the French Republic, in his letter 
to Mr. Jat, where he seems to urge it as a reason for letting him 
have the treaty for the committee. 

Disappointed in getting a copy of the treaty from our envoy,, 
he still continued his exertions. When Major Pincknet was at 
Paris, on his way to Madrid, our minister Monroe represented to 
him that France was inclined to give him every aid, if he would 
desire it, and would also satisfy the conunittee that they were not 
injured by the treaty negociated with Great Britain. 

It was well known to Mr. Monroe that nothing but a copy of 
the treaty (which he also knew was in possession of Major Pinck- 
net) would be satisfactory to the committee; and therefore one of 
the conditions mentioned to Major Pincknet, on which the aid of 
France was to be expected, was the disclosure of the British treaty 
to the committee. It is thus Mr. Pincknet understood the prop- 
ortion, and with great propriety he too refused to shew the treaty 
to the committee, or to ask the aid of France in his negociation. 
Let me cite from Mr. Monroe's letter to the Secretary of State, 
of 14th June, 1795, what he says on this subject: '* Whilst here I 
presented to his (Major Pincknet's) view what had passed be^ 
tween this government and myself upon the subject of his mission^ 
assuring him from what I had heard and seen that / vxis of opiniafif, 
in case he would explain himself to the committee upon thai subject^ 
and express a wish they would give what aid they could conveniently 
in support of his negociationy satisfying them at the same timcy that 
they were not injured by Mr. Jat's treaty y they would do ityetc^etc. 
Mr. Pincknet was sensible of the benefit which the aid of this 
Republic would yield in his negociation, and wished it; but upon 
mature consideration he could not request such aid, without having 
previously exposed to its view Mr. Jat's treaty, and which he did 
not chuse to do, for considerations delicacy forbade me to inquire 
into" (page 175). 

142 



4 



ON MONROE'S VIEW M 

After these unavailing endeavours to obtain a copy of the 
treaty for the committee of public safety, Mr. Monroe was ob- 
liged to acquiesce and to wait with patience till the President and 
Senate should act upon it, unadvised by foreign councils. In en- 
deavouring to defeat the final success of the mission to London 
every motive seemed to have concurred in influencing his conduct 
in this transaction — his personal dislike to Mr. Jat, his devotion 
to France, his hatred to England, and above all his love to himself. 
In this view he has informed the public, that he very early foresaw, 
if the treaty should be ratified, and not agreeable to France, that 
he should probably be recalled. If Mr. Monroe did foresee this 
(and his penetration on this point I am not inclined to call in 
question) it is very evident that his self-love, or rather his anxious 
desire to remain at Paris, would prompt him to do every thing that 
would prevent any treaty with Great Britain from being fully con- 
firmed — ^I say any treaty ^ because it was well known to him that any 
treaty with that nation would be disagreeable to the French Re- 
public, and on this event he expected his continuance in office 
would depend. This foresight which Mr. Monroe thought he 
possessed, and which has explained his solicitude to get a copy oi 
the treaty, will be a key to the sequel of his diplomatic conduct 
It was not altogether to serve France that the representative of 
the United States descended to be the humble instrument of the 
committee, but to promote his own views — a thing not uncommon 
among the men who appear most devoted to the will of foreign 
nations. 

No. IX. 

A FIFTH act of misconduct in our late minister will attract 
attention, upon reading his pamphlet. He encouraged the 
French Republic in a project to obtain by loan^ from the United 
StateSy a sum of money to enable it to prosecute the war; a measure 
which he was not authorised to take, and which would have in- 

14S 



40 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

evitably drawn them from a state of neutrality, and would have 
rendered them the unhappy and humble dependants on the fortune 
and will of France. 

The Secretary of State, Mr. Randolph, in his letter of the 
10th June, 1794 (page 3,) after observing that the mission to Lon- 
don, if it should fail, would tend to unite the people of the United 
States, uses this concise and unequivocal language: ^^This may 
be briefly touched upon as the path of prudence with respect to 
ourselves, and also with respect to France, since we are unable to 
give her aids of either men or money.'* 

These expressions must be admitted to be plain enough to be 
understood by every body. ^We are unable to give her aids of fMn 
cf mtmeyy* can have but one meaning. If this sentiment of the 
Executive had been spread over pages, it is possible, out of a mul- 
titude of words, some colour of subterfuge might have been found 
for palliating the part which Mr. Monroe acted when he encour- 
aged and even explained to the committee the outlines of a plan 
for obtaining a large sum of money on loan from the United States, 
to enable France to prosecute the war in Europe, which he thought 
they were able and willing to lend. On this occasion we shall find 
him transgressing the limits of his instructions, and pursuing the 
object most dear to his heart, and never out of his view; the object 
of tacking the United States to the French Republic. I am aware that 
the more closely Mr. Monroe shall have stuck to this principle, 
the more effectually he must have recommended himself to the 
democrats, or Jacobins, of America; yet as I love justice, and wish 
not to derogate from his merits with this description of his fellow 
citizens, I shall not pass without notice this evidence of the slavish 
spirit which generally marks his unprofitable or pernicious ministry. 

Relative to this subject Mr. Monroe, on the 30th November, 
1794, wrote to the Secretary of State a letter, of which the following 
are extracts: '"In the close of this affair I was invited by the dip- 

144 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 41 

lomatic members of the committee of public safety to a conference 
upon a new topic. I was informed it was their intention to press 
the war against England in particular, but that they were distressed 
for funds, and was asked could any aid be obtained from the 
United States? / told them I was satisfiedy if it was in their power ^ 
it would he rendered: that I possessed no power on the subject, and 
could only advise on the probablility &c. but with their permission 
I would put on paper such ideas as occurred to me in respect to 
that point, and upon which I would afterwards more fully confer, 
&c. — (page 72.) 

No other arrangement can well be made than that of lending 
money to France, if in our power; it being understood she will se- 
cure at the time of her own peace^ the complete recognition of our 
rights from Britain and Spain, and which she may easily do in my 
judgment, and without prolonging the war a moment on that ac- 
count, &c." — (page 73.) 

After extolling the power and successes of France, he adds, 
''In any event it will produce such effect, that if America strikes 
the blow her own interest dictates, and every other consideration 
prompts, it must be decisive; and if not ruinous to the fortimes of 
that proud and insolent nation, will certainly procure us the object 
we have in view.** 

I will here put a few questions : When Mr. Monroe was told, 
in his instructions, ''that the United States were unable to aid 
France with money," by what authority did he desire "permission 
to put his ideas on paper relative to a loan of money,'* and again 
to confer on that point? Why did he so forcibly encourage the 
President to come into the measure of the loan? Why does the 
representative of a nation netdral and desirous to continue neutral^ 
incite America to strike a blow that might be ruinous to the for- 
tunes of a great nation with whom we were actually at peace, and 
at that moment actually negociating, as he must have believed, a 
treaty of amity? What was the blow which Mr. Monroe advised? 

145 



42 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

If these matters require explanation, they will be found ex- 
plained by his note to the committee of public safety, of which the 
following are extracts, — (page 82.) 

'^It is the wish of the French Republic to obtain by loan a sum 
of money from the United States of America, to enable it to pros- 
ecute the war. This is to be expected from three soiuces; the gen- 
eral government, the state governments, and from individuals. 
The French cause and the French nation are greatly regarded in 
America, and / am persuaded some money mxiy he obtained^ and 
perhaps a very respectable sum^ from the three sources above men- 
tioned. For this purpose the minister should possess power to 
make loans from either of the above parties, and to give such se- 
curity as the Republic shall deem suitable, &c. Some account is 
given of our claims upon Great Britain and Spain, and the note 
proceeds — "If the United States were assured that they would have 
no occasion for their own resources to support a war against those 
powers, it would of course be more in their power to lend them to 
the French Republic, &c. The sum which might be raised in 
America, from the different sources above mentioned, upon an 
assurance of this kind, would in my judgment be considerable. In 
any event, however, / shall he happy to give the minister about to 
depart every information and aid in my power ^ in forwarding the ob- 
ject in view.^^ 

Though Mr. Monroe had been told in his instructions that 
the United States could not aid France with money, here is a pro- 
ject for obtaining a sum of money on loan, which he communicated 
in writing to the committee, and which he thought would be ob- 
tained » if we could be assured by France that we should not need 
our resources for vindicating our rights against Britain and Spain. 
The sum contemplated was four or five millions of dollars, and the 
plan of Mr. Monroe was that this sum should be advanced on 
loan, if France would promise to secure to us, when it should make 
peace, the navigation of the Missbippi, the western posts, and 

146 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 4S 

would protect us against the Algerines. In his letter of the 2d 
December, 1794, to the Secretary of State, he writes concerning 
the loan in this manner: ^'I sincerely wish we may assist them if 
possible, and which I presume it will be, especially if not comprised 
in the war, and which I think cannot be, although we should immed- 
iately wrest from Britain and Spain the rights they have usurped 
from us, &c. &c. I am persuaded the amount expected might be 
obtained by loan, and I am equally so that the people would cheer- 
fully bear a tax, the product of which was to be applied in aid of 
the French Republic. Upon these topics I have only a right to 
conjecture, &c." — (page 91.) 

I will say no more upon this palpable disregard of his instruc- 
tions, and his direct counteraction of the pacific and neutral policy 
of the Executive. The project, if it had been carried into effect, 
would have delivered this country bound hand and foot, into the 
arms of the French Republic. The length and breadth of it was 
that we should lend our money, and trust to France for protection, 
and for obtaining justice for us from Britain and Spain at some 
future day, namely, when it should make peace with those nations. 
Thus if peace should be deferred ever so long America was to con- 
tinue all that time without compensation for spoliations on our 
commerce, without the western posts, and without the navigation 
of the Missisippi. America was also to put its resources into the 
hands of France, and confide its most essential interests, and I 
might say its very being, to the power and will of the French 
Republic. 

To recommend the project Mr. Monroe stated that we might 
lend the money to France to prosecute the war, and remain at 
peace with all the belligerent nations. Is it possible that he could 
really entertain such an opinion; or was he insidiously intending to 
draw us into the war on the side of France? Surely Britain would 
not have beheld us affording to France a loan of money to carry on 
the war, without resenting a departure from neutrality so insuffer- 

147 



44 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

able; and if Britain should have resented it, there must have been 
a rupture. Besides, how wrest the posts from Great Britain with- 
out war? Being once involved on the side of that insatiable Re- 
public, the blood and treasures of our coimtry would have been 
lavished, and never would it think that we did enough till Britain 
should be added to her conquered coimtries — ^from thb most dan- 
gerous snare most fortunately we were snatched by the British 
treaty: after that was concluded, our minister and the committee 
desisted from pressing the project until it should be known whether 
the treaty was rejected or not; for which measure Mr. MoNROE'a 
letters, stating the friendly disposition of France, held out very 
strong inducements. 

In his justificatory letter of the 12th of February, 1795> 
writing on this point, he says, ^Tor at that time I had reason to be- 
lieve that it (France) contemplated to take under its care and to pro- 
vide for our protection against Algiers, for the expulsion of the 
British from the western posts, and the establishment of our rights 
with Spain to the free navigation of the Missisippi, to be executed 
in a mode we should prefer and upon terms perfectly easy to us; 
terms in short, which sought only the aid of our credit to obtain a 
loan from our own banks for an inconsiderable sum (five millions 
dollars) to be laid out in the purchase of provisions within our 
own country, to be reimbursed if possible by themselves 9** &c. Gen- 
erous nation! kind and good souls! so boundless is your benevolence^ 
you would take under your care all the nations of the world. You 
would administer justice and mercy among them all, without any 
earthly reward but the sublime pleasure of doing good. With you 
virtue is the rule of every action. With you those terrible passions 
of avarice and ambition, the scourges of the human race, are only 
known in name. 

These, or such as these, may have been the imaginations of 
our infatuated minister, when he contemplated the United States 
under the protection and care of the French Republic. At that 

148 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 45 

period the example of Batavia had not been presented to the world. 
It is here we may now behold m reality the miserable, wretched 
and hopeless condition of a people under the domination of France. 
Drained of millions to support the French armies, frugality and in- 
dustry banished from the world, commerce destroyed, and all the 
useful employments of a peace establishment neglected or forbid- 
den, we may there see a Republic without a will, and individuals 
without a power over their persons or property. There we may 
see the most deplorable slavery, political and civil. Let this dread- 
ful example be a warning. Let America hold fast its resources, 
and remember always they can be trusted no where but in the 
hands of Americans. 

No. X. 

RELATIVE to the sum of money which it was proposed that 
the United States should lend to France, to enable it to 
prosecute the war, it should be remembered the project was 
encouraged by Mr. Monroe at a time when under no possible cir- 
cumstances it could have been proper. The negociation which 
Great Britain was then pending. If it succeeded, peace with that 
nation would have been continued, and the loan would have been 
a violation of neutrality not to be justified. If it failed, war with 
Great Britain must have been the consequence, and all our money 
and resources would have been necessary in our own hands. Why 
then did our minister, though otherwise instructed by the Presi- 
dent, give a plan for obtaining the loan, promise his aid to the 
French minister, and write to the Secretary of State that the people 
would, in his opinion, cheerfully bear a tax that should raise money 
for the French. He ought to have recollected how those who con- 
curred with him in politics ever have been and are opposed to all 
plans of raising revenues to be applied to the support of the general 
government; how a certain class, called Anti-Federalists, Dem- 
ocrats, or Jacobins, composing the French faction, have labored 
incessantly to render the administration of the government odious 

149 



46 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

to the people, and with how much difficulty revenue laws have been 
passed for raising the monies necessary to discharge our revolution 
debts, and to uphold the present system of the Union. Recol- 
lecting these things, it is almost, but not quite, unaccountable that 
he should have thought the people of the United States would have 
^^paid a tax cheerfully to raise a sum for the French treasury^ relying 
on a mere promise of France to reimburse the loan^ if possible y at some 
tuture day.'' Did he really believe the people would pay taxes 
/or France more cheerfully than for themselves, or was it the 
phrenzy of a distempered mind? He could not, in sober sense, 
have believed it. His countrymen were never, nor are they yet 
disposed to be tributary to the French Republic, or to any foreign 
nation in the universe. It is true their patience under the many 
injuries and indignities which have been accumulated on them, has 
been wonderful. If it has been misinterpreted for pusillanimity, 
or for excessive fondness for the French Republic, the delusion 
cannot much longer remain; and when it shall be removed, and the 
rulers in France shall learn by experience the real temper of this 
country, and feel its courage, they will view with contempt the 
men who, having deceived and disappointed them, at length pro- 
duced a lasting separation between the two nations; the men who, 
frustrated in the schema of tacking the United States a^ a province 
to the French Republic^ for the selfish puri)oses of ambition or avar- 
ice, shall, if thought of at all in America, be thought of with ab- 
horrence. 

The documents published by Mr. Monroe, as well as his own 
narration of his ministry, furnish another instance in which his 
conduct appears highly censurable. He neglected for a long time 
to state and urge wiih sincerity and prudence to the Directory of 
France the arguments of the Executive with which he had been fur- 
nished, proving that the treaty with Great Britain was not inconsistent 
with our treaty wiih France, and did not proceed from any motives 
unfriendly to France, as had been wickedly misrepresented on both 
sides the Atlantic. 

150 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 47 

There is a sort of people who are indebted for the notice which 
the public has bestowed on them principally to the malignant 
hatred which they have uniformly declared against Great Britain. 
A person of this description cannot be expected to be reconciled 
to our treaty with that nation, because that instrument not only 
prevented a war with that nation, but is likely long to prevent one. 
Mr. Monroe, I am sure, will glory in the reputation of hating 
Britain and loving France, which he has taken so much pains to ac- 
quire. I mention this as it will serve to explain the line of conduct 
which the documents prove he observed upon the subject of the 
British treaty, and when it is remembered that he hated Britain 
even with Gallic hatred, it must have been natural to him to enter- 
tain a cordial wish that the treaty should excite the resentment of 
France, and by some means or other be defeated or annulled. Be- 
sides, he has informed the community that he foresaw in the spring, 
1795, if the treaty was ratified he would probably be recalled, so 
that the treaty must have been peculiarly odious to him for this 
expected consequence. — (page SO.) 

For substantiating this charge of misconduct, it is necessary 
to refer to the documents. Mr. Monroe, in his letter to the Sec- 
retary of State, dated 17th August, 1795, which is the first he wrote 
after the treaty was known at Paris, informed the Secretary "that 
within a few days past, Philadelphia papers were received as late 
as the 3d of July, containing Mr. Jay's treaty, together with such 
proceedings of the Senate upon it as were then published., &c. 
Of late I have heard nothing from the committee on this svbjecty nor 
do I expect to hear any thing from that body upon it, let the impression 
be what it mxty, otherwise than in reply to sv^ch communication a^ I may 
make thereon, and respecting which, it may be proper to add, that I 
shall take no step without your particular instructions.** 

In the same letter he says, "As I have had no communication 
with this government upon the subject of this treaty since its con- 
tents were known, it is of course impossible for me to say what the 

151 



48 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

impFession it has made is. It is easy for you, vnth the lights you 
have, to form a correct opinion upon that point in Philadelphia/^ 
He afterwards mentioned that he heard an objection was made by 
many to that part of the 18th article which related to provisions; 
and this is the only objection it appears had then been brought for- 
ward — (page 206.) 

What I have quoted of this letter should never be forgot. 
1st. It proves by his own acknowledgement ^'that he did not ex- 
pect to hear from the committee but in reply to such communi- 
cations as he should make respecting the treaty/' and yet he has 
offered to justify his silence on this subject, by saying "'he deemed 
it improper to make any conmiunications to the Directory till they 
presented their complaints/' 2dly. That at the first appearance 
of the treaty, no objection was made except relative to one article, 
which in practice has not been detrimental to either France or the 
United States, and is not therefore complained of by any body at 
this day. Sdly. That there were lights at Philadelphia by which 
Mr. Randolph might discover how the treaty would be received 
at Paris: In other words, that whatever objections should be 
made by the French faction here, might be expected to be made in 
France. 

On the 10th of September 1795, he again wrote to the Secre- 
tary of State, and recommended if any further negociation should 
be necessary with Great Britain, that the person employed should 
possess the confidence of France, and should carry on the negoci- 
ation where the French should he negociating on peace either at Paris 
or Basle. Further he pointed out the way of engaging the zeal of 
the French Republic, by adopting the project of a loan, by attack- 
ing Canada and fitting out privateers. It cannot escape notice 
on reading this letter, how anxious our minister was that all further 
negociation with Britain should be conducted by us under the eye 
of France. In this letter no mention is made that he had heard 
any complaints against the treaty — (page 210) — nor does his next 

152 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 40 

letter, dated 4th of October, contain any idea concerning the 
treaty — (page 223.) 

On the 20th October, 1795, Mr. Monroe acknowledged the 
receipt of several letters from the Secretary of State, dated 29th 
May, 1st, and 7th June, 2d, 8th, 14th, 21st, 29th and 30th July. 
Several of these letters related to the British treaty, particularly 
that of the 1st June, which is very lengthy, (consisting of 26 pages 
of the books) and contained the most ample information and most 
copious argiunents relative to the conduct of the United States in 
making the treaty; and that of the 14th July, accompanied his 
correspondence with Mr. Adet. They were intended to enable 
our minister to answer all the objections that might be suggested 
or made by France relative to that treaty. On the 20th October, 
he was therefore fully instructed by the President how he was to 
act, and he promised to pay attention to those letters. But even 
at this period, the following extracts from his letter of the 20th 
October, 1795, [show] no complaints had been made against the 
treaty. "For the present, however, permit me to add that as yet 
no complaint has been made to me against the treaty; nor have I 
heard any thing from the committee on the subject since the appli- 
cation requesting information in what light they were to view the 
reports concerning it, and which was made soon after the treaty 
was concluded," that is to say in December, 1794. 

On the 12th September, 1795, the Secretary of State, Mr. 
Pickering, wrote a letter explaining to Mr. Monroe the propri- 
ety of the British treaty, the meaning of the particular stipulations, 
the motives which induced it, and its expected operation — ^which 
letter Mr. Monroe answered on the 6th December following. In 
his answer is to be found this paragraph — ^"^The effect which this 
incident produced in the councils of this country through its several 
stages, may be traced in my former communications, to which I 
beg leave to refer you. To these I have nothing material new to add. 
Symptoms of discontent it is true, are still seen; but whether they 

IBS 



50 SCIP10*S REFLECTIONS 

will assume an aspect more unpleasant I know not: if they do, or 
any thing occurs of sufficient importance to merit your attention^ 
I will certainly apprise you of it, and without delay/' 

Upon this letter it may be observed, that the eflPects of the 
treaty up to that time upon the French councils, were to be traced 
in his former letters. These I have shortly stated; so that for up- 
wards of a year the treaty had excited no discontents that Mr. 
MoNBOE deemed, as his correspondence states, to be of any con- 
sequence. When they began to appear he was fully fiunished by 
the Executive with the means of satisfying, or at least endeavouring 
to satisfy the Directory of France;* or at this period the Directory 
had gone into office. We are therefore to examine the conduct of 
our minister from December 1795, till his recall in August 1796 — 
For it is during this space that he is most particularly chargeable 
with neglect of duty, or a wilful disregard of the wishes of the Ex- 
ecutive respecting the British treaty. 

No. XI. 

IT has been fully established by the letters of Mr. Monroe, that 
so late as December 1795, no complaint had been made to him 
by the ruling powers of France, tho' the treaty had been known 
and published in the papers at Paris from the middle of August to 
that time ; a space of almost four months. Hence it may be inferred 
that the suspicions which were at first entertained against the 
treaty vanished so soon as it was inspected; and that the Directory 
saw in it no cause of dissatisfaction, and probably never would have 
made it a subject of uneasiness, but for the suggestions of Ameri- 
cans. If any inquiry is made how and by what means the French 
Republic has been induced of late, to view the treaty in a different 
light; and to hold it forth as the ostensible cause of that system of 
injury and depredation which is carried on against American com- 
merce, nothing can be more easily answered. 

^Apparently Uus should read: "for, at tbii period*' or, **the Directory which had ^ne 
into office. [£o.] 

154 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 51 

In a postscript to Mr. Monroe's letter of the 5th November, 
1795, he informed the Secretary of State as follows: "Mr. Fau- 
CHET is lately arrived, and as he appears to be extremely dissatis- 
fied with Mr. Jay's treaty with Great Britain, and is apparently 
well received by his government, I doubt not his communications 
on that head will be attended to." This minister of the French 
Republic carried with him from America a thorough knowledge of 
the opposition which had been excited against the treaty by the 
matchless industry of the partizans of France, in every comer of 
our country. Never was an instrument so misrepresented and so 
slandered. Some men were so impudent as to say that the treaty 
contained any and every thing that occurred to their imagination, 
which might render it odious. All the passions of America were 
engaged, and its reason seemed for a moment to have been lost. 
With the impression which these occurrences occasioned, Mr. 
Fauchet returned to France. Besides, during his residence here, 
he had made a personal acquaintance with many leading charac- 
ters, and especially with those who now are most distinguished in 
the fallen faction. He was possessed with all the objections which 
the advocates for France in our national councils had been able to 
invent. He was possessed with the reasons (if such they deserve 
to be called) which Senators Burr and Tazewell had taken care to 
spread upon the journals of the Senate in support of their respec- 
tive motions to withhold the consent of the Senate from ratifying 
the treaty. Thus informed, thus fortified, thus sustained, he 
would represent in the strongest colors the unhappy divisions which 
pervaded the commimity ; and when the Directory found that there 
were Americans, in number considerable, and in tolents and ad- 
dress influential, who were pursuing with zeal and union a plan to 
defeat the treaty with Great Britain, and to promote a quarrel 
with that nation; it was natural, it was unavoidable that they 
should, with at least equal zeal, come forward, and taking their 
party by the hand should repeat every objection which had been 
made on this side the Atlantic; and so they did. Was it to be ex- 

155 



6i SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

pected that the Directory would desert the French party here on 
any occasion? Was it to be supposed they would desert the party 
while it was using every exertion to frustrate the treaty, by claim- 
ing and exercising the right to refuse the necessary appropriations? 
Well did Mr. Monroe observe to Secretary Randolph, "it is as 
easy for you, with the lights you have, to form a correct opinion 
upon that point, (meaning the impression made by the treaty in 
France) in Philadelphia, as for me to do it here" — (page 207.) 
It is a lamentable and undeniable truth that there has been, and 
is a perfect concert of action between the French party here, and 
the ruling power in France. This is the radical source of the em- 
barrassments which have attended our national movements. The 
faction (which thanks to God has declined to a junto, for the people 
are withdrawing their support) has had the prudence to agree in 
their measures, and whatever they have been, they have been a- 
betted and assisted by the French Republic. It is by this policy, 
which France perfectly understands, and will never neglect, that 
she has added so largely to her territory during the present war; 
and it is this policy which she may be expected to pursue with un- 
remitted assiduity, during the troubles which now threaten the 
peace of the United States. Against these exertions of France, 
America must oppose a just sense of her own dignity. She must 
exclude from her councils those faithless men who, whether the 
dupes or the guides of foreign politics, no longer deserve her con- 
fidence; and must defend her injured rights with the spirit of a free, 
sovereign and independent nation. A state of public affairs is 
near, or rather is come, when cement is necessary to preserve the 
Union. If a certain party have a distinct object, which I hope 
they have not, it is a separation of the states ; when the southern 
part is to be put under the care and protection of the French Re- 
public. It is hither their regular and unceasing course of political 
action has tended. From a lot so disastrous, the Lord save those 
states. 

156 



ON MONROE'S VIEW £S 

No. XII. 

IT was not my intention to remark on any inconsistencies which 
might appear to me between Mr. Monroe's narrative since 
his recall, and his letters written at Paris : there is one, however, 
I must notice. In his narrative, written in 1797 after his recall, 
he has ventured to represent that ^^the possession of the treaty 
enabled the French government to judge for itself upon all the 
points which it involved : and that the eflPect was not an equivocal 
one, for there did not appear to be a description of persons, not in 
the interest of the coalesced powers, who did not openly and severely 
censure it.*' — (page S4.) In a following page he has stated, that 
^^the appearance of the treaty excited the general disgust of France 
against the American government, which was now diminished by 
the opposition which the American people made to the treaty.** 
Already I have cited his letter of the 17th August, written soon 
after the treaty appeared at Paris; and his letter of 20th October, 
which expressly contradict this representation. If, however, it 
is to be believed that Mr. Monroe has more truly stated the im- 
pressions of France, at the sight of the treaty, in his narrative of 
1797 than in his letter of 1795, it will follow that he will appear in 
a more culpable light than I have been disposed to view him. It 
will prove that he so much longer neglected those friendly ex- 
planations which it was his duty to have offered respecting the 
treaty. From his correspondence it appears that not only after 
the treaty appeared at Paris, but even after he had received, in 
October, 1795, the instructions of the President, he did not solicit 
an audience of the Directory on this subject till the 5th March, 
1796, a space of fifteen months from the conclusion of the treaty, 
and about seven months after it had been published in Paris, and 
four months after he had received the copious comments on the 
treaty, from the Secretary of State, contained in his letter of June, 
and the answer to Mr. Adet'b objections. Nor did Mr. Monroe 
desire an audience before he had been told by the minister of f or- 

157 



54 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

eign affairs, that the Directory had made up its mind how to act 
concerning the treaty. That he should have been an indifferent 
spectator to the discontented feelings of France before, and while 
it was coming to a mature determination, and should, immediately 
after he was informed that such a determination was taken, re- 
quest an audience of the Directory on the subject, must be admitted 
to be strong evidence, not only of negligence, but of incapacity. 
Let it be noted that neither his letter of the 22d of December, 1795, 
nor that of 26th of January, 1796, contained a word on the treaty. 

In his letter of 16th February, 1796, he has informed the Sec- 
retary of State that he had called the day before on the minister 
of Foreign Affairs, to represent the distresses of several of his 
countrymen; but before he was allowed to enter on the subject, 
his attention was called to the treaty by the minister of foreign 
affairs, who observed, "the Directory had at length made up its mind 
haw to act concerning our treaty with England: that it considered the 
alliance between us as ceasing to exist, from the moment the treaty 
was ratified; and had, or should appoint an envoy extraordinary, 
to represent the same to our government, &c. that he should hand 
to me an official note on this subject, being ordered so to do by 
the Directory," &c. (page 811.) Mr. Monroe further confirmed, 
that as no specific objection was made he could make no specific 
reply : that he expressed his astonishment at the measure proposed, 
inculcated the propriety of candor in discussing the treaty, and in- 
tended to demand an audience for the purpose of diverting France 
from the measure. 

On the 20th of February he wrote that he had asked and ob- 
tained a conference with the minister of foreign affairs, concerning 
the mission of an envoy to America; that he had remonstrated 
against the measure, and had declared that he was always ready 
to enter into explanations relative to the treaty "when required^ 
and would do it with pleasure;" to which the minister replied, that 
France had much cause of complaint against us, independently of 

158 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 55 

CUT treaty with England, but that by this treaty ours with them was 
annihilated; but admitted that the objections to the mission of an 
envoy to America, which had been urged, had much force in them, 
and should be considered. It is added in this letter, that he (Mr. 
Monroe) expected he might be called on for explanations of the 
treaty, in which case he should avail himself in the best manner of 
the conmiunications he had received from the Department of 
State. 

The plan of sending an envoy to America was laid aside, and 
whether the opposition of Mr. Monroe to this measure was ju- 
dicious or not, I will not venture to decide. It is probable, how- 
ever, it would not have made things worse with this country than 
we now find them; and our explanations and arguments would 
have been as ably urged in Philadelphia as any where else. But if 
Mr. Monroe had already been guilty of unwarrantable negligence 
in permitting the Directory to make up its mind without any pre- 
vious discussion, or representation of the treaty in our behalf, 
this negligence became inexcusable and fatal by his subsequent 
conduct. Instead of telling the minister of foreign affairs he was 
ready, when required by the French Republic, to give explanations 
on this subject, he ought to have sent him inmiediately a written 
commimication, embracing every particular which he had heard, 
or believed might have occasioned any dissatisfaction. Let it be 
remembered, Mr. Monroe, in his letter of the 17th August, 1795, 
had told the President he expected to hear no complaints unless in 
reply to his represeniations. With this opinion, if Mr. Monroe 
believed that France was well satisfied with the United States, it 
would have been proper to observe silence on the treaty; but if he 
was acquainted with its discontent, and found it from time to 

time encreasing, as the documents prove, or as he acknowledges 
in his narrative; and if he believed the French Republic would not 
express to him any sentiments on that subject, hvt in reply to his 
obsemationSf he was bound in duty to commence an explanation. 

150 



56 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

If this could not be done verbally, it should have been put in writ- 
ing, which it was not in the power of the French cabinet to prevent. 
There was no other way for endeavouring to remove the uneasiness 
of France, but by actually commencing the discussion on his part, 
and not merely by declaring his vnllingness to enter upon it. This 
would have been executing the expectations of the Executive, 
whose anxious and imceasing wish to preserve harmony between 
the two countries, had been on all occasions testified to him. If 
these endeavours had been unsuccessful, though it would have 
been the source of infinite regret, it would have afforded consola- 
tion to reflect that every thing had been done that was possible 
to obtain success. He ought not so long to have remained in Paris, 
a silent witness to the growing discontent of France, without 
making some exertion to diminish or remove it. All the remedies 
which the Executive could supply were in his hands, and certainly 
he ought to have tried their efficacy in due season, and not have 
deferred their application till the disease had probably become in- 
curable. 

It is true that in March Mr. Monroe did demand an audience 
of the Directory, which was granted. That having demanded the 
audience, he was obliged to open the conference; that the result 
was that they ordered their minister of foreign affairs to send a 
note of their complaints to the American minister, which was done 
soon afterwards, and to which Mr. Monroe returned an answer. 
But all this was entirely out of season — it was a month after the 
Directory had determined on their course of conduct, as they had 
expressly informed him. 

I will not say that any thing that Mr. Monroe could have 
done would have diverted France from her present offensive and 
unjust system. The people of the United States are descendants 
from the British, and though separate and independent in govern- 
ment, yet speaking the same language, alike in manners, connected 
by commerce, and professing the Christian religion, the French 

160 



ON MONROE'S VIEW fi7 

are led to contemplate us as Englishmen, and from their hatred to 
England are not sparing of their injuries to us. But surely Mr. 
Monroe ought to have used his endeavours with vigilance, con- 
stancy and sincerity; and he should have used them in due season, 
and with his utmost ability, to correct the erroneous opinions and 
to dissipate the unfavourable prejudices which the treaty might 
have excited. From the Executive he had in due time received 
the fullest directions, and had been not only reminded how to reg- 
ulate his future conduct, but had been reproved for some instances 
of his misconduct, so early as the 23d of November, 1795. The 
Secretary of State wrote him a short letter, of which the following 
is an extract. "I write now merely to acknowledge the receipt of 
your several letters numbered 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. You will see 
an answer to the last has been anticipated by a long letter from me, 
dated in September, on the subject of the treaty between the 
United States and Great Britain. By that letter you wiU understand 
that the ideas you have detailed are quite foreign to the views of the 
government of the United States J"'— (psLge 319.) Even this did not 
stimulate him to action, but it was reserved for the minister of for- 
eign affairs to rouse him from his lethargy, by telling him posi- 
tively that France had at length made up its mind how to act con- 
cerning the British treaty. After this period it might have been 
foreseen that his representations would be unavailing, and so they 
were. The proper season had passed by unimproved, and it was 
never to be recalled. The discontent of France was grown to ma- 
turity, and what might have been only a transient prejudice, was 
become a fixed opinion. 

No. XIII. 

IT would be neither useful nor entertaining to remark on the 
conmiunications which passed between our minister and the 
Directory, relative to the British treaty, after they had told him 
they had made up their mind how to act. He seems to have been 
afraid to represent the sentiments of the Executive on this subject; 

161 



58 SCIPIO*S REFLECTIONS 

apprehending they might be disagreeable to the Directory, and 
make them suspect his personal devotion to their will, which on so 
many occasions he had manifested. By this timidity he must have 
contributed to alarm their jealousy, and not to appease it. While 
he pretended to justify and support the Executive in respect to 
the treaty, he appears to have distrusted the goodness of his cause, 
and by this diffidence to have animated the discontent of France. 
I shall pass over the uncertainties, contrarieties and idle conjectures 
to be found in his letters to the Secretary of State. They may 
have been meant to keep the mind of the President in anxious and 
painful suspense, or they may have been designed to leave the ex- 
minister at full liberty, at a future day to join in supporting that 
nation in demanding an abrogation of the treaty with Britain. 
If he has so dubiously, so Jesuitically, so insincerely defended the 
measures of America in relation to foreign nations, and particu- 
larly the treaty with Britain, that he can now without inconsis- 
tency advocate the proceedings of France, all men must agree he 
has been the unfaithful representative of the United States. Will 
any person doubt after reading Mr. Monroe's pamphlet, on which 
side he now stands in the controversy between France and his 
native country? He has avowed his object in his publication to 
be to denounce the Executive, for what he calls injustice and per- 
fidy towards France. He has recapitulated no less than fourteen 
charges to make good his denunciation, running over a period of 
several years, which embraces the whole space of his ministry at 
Paris. Is it possible that Mr. Monroe could have truly and cor- 
dially endeavored to fulfil the views of the President, as the minister 
of the United States to the French Republic, if he diflFered from him 
in sentiment, and disapproved of his measures, or suspected his 
objects? How can it be reconciled that he remained more than 
two years in a ministry subject to the direction of the President, 
and for ought that appears, would have willingly remained forever 
if in his power; and that when he has been recalled, he has written 
a book of accusations against his employer, in which he endeavors 

162 



ON MONROES VIEW 50 

to prove that, relative to France, the Executive has been either 
unwise, or unjust or dishonwable, and has furnished just cause for 
the complaints of that nation? After this is it surprising that 
Citizen Barras, President of the Directory, in the valedictory de- 
livered to Mr. Monroe, at his taking leave of France, should have 
taken that occasion to pronounce an invective against our Presi- 
dent, and an eulogy on our minister; did not this demonstrate that 
the Directory believed the sentiments of the minister and of the 
President to be at variance, and that the former had been subser- 
vient to the views of France? Else why were the Directory dis- 
posed to permit Mr. Monroe always to remain in his ministry; 
why have they refused not only to receive, but even to hear his 
successor. Gen. Finceinet, than whom no American truly attached 
to the good of his country, could be less exceptionable — ^why at 
this moment, have our three envoys been so long delayed, or per- 
haps sent back without an audience? To them no personal ob- 
jection has been or can be made The only answer that occurs to 
me to these questions is, that France having so long been indulged 
with a minister more useful to it than to America; a minister who 
did every thing to inspire the Directory with confidence in him, 
but nothing to inspire them with confidence in the Executive; a 
minister who represented himself to that, in proportion as he dis- 
regarded the interests of this government, was displeased at his 
recall, and may have taken up the opinion that she is entitled to 
have at all times a minister from America, equally condescend- 
ing, obseqiiious and submissive. In the present disagreement 
between the two nations, if an argument more forcible than the 
rest to support the act of the Executive in removing the minister 
was fought for, the panegyric of Citizen Barras on our minister's 
conduct would furnish it. 

To confirm the statement which I have made of Mr. Mon- 
roe's negligence respecting the British treaty, I must present to 
the public an extract from the letter of the Secretary of State to 

163 



60 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

him, dated 13th June, 1795. It is as follows: *'But the principal 
matter which now demands attention is what concerns the late 
treaty between the United States and Great Britain. 

Of the views of the government of the United States on this 
subject, you have long since been possessed as well before as sub- 
sequent to its ratification. These views were communicated to 
you for the sole purpose of furnishing you with the means of re-> 
moving objections and dispelling jealousies. By your own rep- 
resentations both objections and jealousies existed. It has been 
therefore a matter of no small surprise to the President, that during 
so long a period you contented yourself merely with having those 
means in your possession without applying them to the object for 
which they were transmitted. 

As early as October last you predicted that if Mr. Jay's treaty 
should be ratified, it would excite great discontent in France. 
Early in November you mentioned the arrival of Mr. Fauchet^ 
extremely dissatisfied with the treaty; adding that he was well 
received and would therefore be attended to. On the 6th Decem- 
ber you acknowledge the receipt of my letter of September 12th» 
written subsequently to the ratification of the treaty, to repeat 
and further explain the principles and views of the government 
concerning it. Mr. Adet's objections to the treaty and their ref- 
utation accompanied my letter. And with such means in your 
hands, means amply sufficient to vindicate the conduct of the United 
States, not less regret than surprise is excited that no attempt waa 
made to apply them to the highly important use for which they 
were sent. Although you anticipated discontents, although the 
symptoms of discontent appeared, although these symptoms un- 
attended to and unallayed might increase to an inflammation, and 
Mr. Fauchet's arrival with all his dissatisfaction and prejudices 
about him would assuredly add to the irritation; yet you were 
silent and inactive, until on the 15th February you were alarmed 
by the project of the Directory, accidentally communicated to 

164 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 61 

you by the minister of foreign affairs, of sending to this country 
an envoy extraordinary to represent to our government their de- 
cision concerning the treaty with Great Britain, *that they consid- 
ered the treaty of alliance between us as ceasing to exist from the 
moment the treaty was ratified/ Your letter of the 20th of the 
same month describes your second interview with the minister on 
the project of sending an envoy extraordinary, and the reasons 
you urged to dissuade them from it, were certainly very cogent. 
Your letter of the 10th March, informs us the project was laid aside, 
and your letter of the 25th of March, that you had an audience of 
the Directory on the subject and that they had agreed to suspend 
to propose their proposed extraordinary mission, until the points 
in question should be discussed between you and the minister of 
foreign affairs. The result of this audience appears satisfactory^ 
and from the good effect produced by the partial explanations then 
giveny may be calculated the happy consequ£nces of the fuU communis 
cations which might have been mxide^ and which for so long a time you 
had possessed the means of making^ in vindication of the government 
you represent That these were not made, that they had not been 
made even so late as the iSth of Marchy is a^ain to be extremely re- 
grettedf because the justicCy the honor and the faith of our country were 
questionedy and consequenUy their most important interests were at 
stake. (Page 865.) This document shall close the illustration of 
this instance of Mr. Monroe's misconduct. In justifying him- 
self it is true he has stated that he conceived it most prudent to 
observe silence on this topic, which he terms remaining on the de- 
fensive: but in a case like this, what sort of defence was silence? 
Did silence dispel jealousies? Did silence efface the misconceptions 
which had been produced by the wicked misrepresentations of the 
treaty, so industriously invented, and reiterated on this side the 
water by the French faction? Did silence vindicate the justice 
and honor of America from the vile aspersions thrown on both» 
not only by some of our citizens, but even by members of our legis- 
lative bodies? Did silence vindicate the Executive from the in- 

165 



«2 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

finite calumnies which were circulated by the editor of the Aurora^ 
the confidential friend and correspondent of Citizen Monroe? Or 
was not silence the part which by the French faction was pre- 
scribed to him, to act as best calculated to weaken and embarrass 
the administration of our government, and to promote their tur- 
bulent and vicious projects? 

No. XIV. 

WHOEVER shall be at the trouble of reading the documents 
which Mr. Monroe has annexed to his pamphlet, and 
caused to be published by his confidential friend Bache, 
will learn from them whether the various instances of misconduct 
which have been the subject of my observations are not fully sub- 
stantiated. Let them be repeated: 

1st. It appears to me he did misrepresent to the conunittee of 
Public Safety, that he was not authorized by the President to 
complain of the decree of the French republic, derogatory of our 
treaty with France, which would naturally make an impression 
that the Executive either neglected the rights and interests of the 
citizens of the United States or were afraid to complain of the in- 
juries and spoliations done to their persons and property; an im- 
pression no less dishonorable to the President, than mischievous to 
our commercial fellow citizens. 

2d. It appears to me he did of his own head inform the com- 
mittee, if a departure from the Treaty was found on experience ad- 
vantageous to France ^'his government and the people in general 
of his country, would bear it with not only with patience but with 
pleasure,'' by which abject and unauthorized declaration he has 
in some measure contributed to bring on our commerce the ruin- 
ous system of depredation under which it has been, and now is 
suflFering. 

3d. It appears to me he did misrepresent the mission of Mr. 

166 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 6» 

Jay when he asserted that it was limited exclusively, to two ob- 
jects, the delivery of the western posts, and compensation for in- 
juries to our commerce; by which means he laid the foimdation for 
certain disappointments and dissatisfactions on the part of France^ 
with whatever treaty might be made between this country and 
Great Britain. 

4th. It appears to me he did contrary to his duty, promise to 
conmiunicate to the committee the treaty negotiated by Mr. Jay 
so soon as it was in his power, and did endeavour to obtain a copy 
for that purpose before it could have been laid before the President 
of the United States, by sending a special messenger to London 
for it. 

5th. It appears to me he did encourage the project of a loan 
of a considerable sum of money, to be advanced on the credit of 
the United States, to enable France to prosecute the present war^ 
and relying on the promise of France to reimburse it if it should be 
at a future day able; a measure incompatible with the continuance 
of our state of neutrality, which was the course that the Executive 
had determined, with the approbation of America to pursue; a 
measure that, by depriving the United States of their own re- 
sources when most wanted, would have made them completely 
dependent on the fortune and will of France. 

6th. It appears to me he did neglect to use, seasonably and 
diligently, the means put in his power by the President for ex- 
plaining his conduct relative to the British treaty, and for dispel- 
ling the prejudices and obviating the discontent which, from the 
extraordinary exertions of the French faction in the United States^ 
it was supposed might be excited in France. 

I have omitted, and shall omit to mention the other matters 
of inferior consequence which, according to the documents, exhibit 
our minister in an unfavorable point of view, as they tend to shew 
his constant desire to recommend France to the afifections of our 

167 



64 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

fellow citizens, and to excuse and palliate those acts of injustice of 
which we have had so much cause to complain: his zeal to make 
himself agreeable to France, his indifference to the sentiments of 
the Executive, and his undue preference of the interests of France 
to all other objects. With the blind and infatuated party who 
take side with France against America, these traits are deemed 
meritorious: with such persons Mr. Monroe is welcome to all the 
merit that his late ministry can entitle him. It was because that 
I considered him as one of them, as he himself, has avowed, that 
I read his book, which contains that system of attack on our present 
government, deemed by the party, best calculated to introduce 
important changes. 

As it contains a great deal of his correspondence upon matters 
unconnected with a vindication of himself, or an accusation of his 
employer, the late President of the United States, I should not 
have persevered through the tedious task but from a desire to be 
truly informed, from the documents themselves, and from an in- 
tention, if the narrative appeared unsupported by them, to offer 
to the public my reflections on his conduct. It was to be expected 
that this dismissed officer, writing under the influence of resent- 
ment, would endeavour to exhibit in an odious view the wise and 
virtuous statesman who has just retired from the helm; and I am 
sure no person will say his narrative is deficient of the malevolent 
spirit which has characterised the publications of the party, and 
especially those that are printed by his friend Bache. 

Let me explain what is meant by saying that this book is a 
part of the system of attack upon our present government, from 
which the French party expect to produce important changes. 

It cannot have escaped the observation of the intelligent part 
of society, that they who were opposed to our present government 
at its institution, have generally, after finding their efforts unavail- 
ing, which were made to its first operations, and after finding the 

168 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 65 

affections of the people towards it not only attached, but encreas- 
ing, pretended to be satisfied with the constitution; they have 
changed their opposition, as they say, from the government to the 
administration. It is also well known that they have been in- 
variably in concert with the French cabinet; and that Mr. Genet 
was instructed to attempt to produce some alterations in our gov- 
ernment; and if, on his arrival, the circumstances of the country 
were unfavorable to such attempts, that they might be deferred 
to a more convenient opportunity. I refer to his instructions, 
published by himself in 1704. It is notorious, that whatever has 
been done in France by the ruling power of the day, was approved 
and justified so soon as it was known by the French faction here; 
and that whatever the French faction has from time to time at- 
tempted or avowed here, has been maintained and avdocated by 
the ruling power there. This harmony for so many years has not 
proceeded from accident: it has been the result of a combination 
between the opposition leaders here, who are desirous to be in 
power, and the French cabinet, who are ambitious to regidate the 
affairs of America as well as of Europe. The business is well under- 
stood on both sides, and this union is founded on the ambition of 
both. Rather than not have the administration in their hands, 
which might give an influence to be used in creating radical changes 
in the constitution suited to their ideas, they are willing to obtain 
it by the aid of a foreign nation, and the latter is willing to bestow 
its aid to men who are expected to be subservient to if not devoted 
to its will. With this object plainly before them, their steps have 
been directed thither without looking to the right or to the left. 

When the late President had demonstrated, as every act of his 
adnunistration did demonstrate, his invariable policy to preserve 
the United States in their independence; and that he never would 
be the tool of France in tacking them to her, as a province in fact, 
however they might be in name; from that time it became a maxim 
in the French councils, that the confidence and affection of the 

169 



66 SC1P10*S REFLECTIONS 

people in George Washington was to be destroyed. It was fore-^ 
seen by this combination that so long as the public should believe 
their coiMdence and affection well placed in him, his measures^ 
and the persons most active in maintaining them would be es- 
teemed. Consequently, that his system would be likely to be con- 
tinued, and the administration confined to men who had approved 
that isystem. That the weight of President Washington'b ser- 
vices might be diminished or taken away, calumny and falsehood 
have been at work day and night — certain gazettes in our country 
have teemed with every malevolent fiction that could be devised 
against him, and not content with taking Editors of gazettes into 
pay, as I believe is the case, there is also reason to believe that the 
French Republic have hired several writers to criminate, revile, 
and libel the conduct of our late President, — of whom Tom Painb 
and Fauchet deserve to be particularly noticed. 

Some of these writers have expressed their motive to be, to 
convince the people that as a general he scarcely deserved well of 
his countiy, and that as a statesman his administration has been 
unwise, wicked, ungrateful and perfidious: That they have been 
under unaccountable prejudices in his favor, which must be re- 
moved to save their liberties and that all who have sustained hia 
administration have like him, been traitors to our country, and 
ought to be discarded from their confidence. 

This is the form of attack now carrying on in which Mr. Mon- 
roe by publishing his book is conceived to have taken a part, and 
in which Tom Paine has already made his appearance. Con- 
nected with this subject, I shall draw the attention of the public to 
the letters of Tom Paine, written at Paris to President Washing- 
ton, while the writer resided in the house of the American minister. 



170 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 67 

No, XV. 

IT was on the authority of Tom Paine that I asserted that he 
certainly resided with Mr. Monroe at Paris, in the year 1795, 
when he wrote two letters to President Washington, and prob* 
ably he was there when he wrote a third, dated SOth July, 1796. 
The two former are dated 22d February and 20th September, 
1705, and in the last are to be found the following sentences: 
^'After the Robespierrian members of the conunittee were removed 
by the expiration of their time of serving, Mr. Monroe reclaimed 
me, and I was liberated the 4th of November. Immediately upon 
my liberation Mr. Monroe invited me to his house, where I re- 
mained more than a year and a half, and I speak of his aid and 
friendship as an open-hearted man will always do in such a case, 
with respect and gratitude, (page 25 of the letter.) 

Though the year is not expressed when Tom Paine was lib- 
erated, it was in 1794, as will appear by Mr. Monroe's letters, 
dated 1st November, 1794, and 13th January, 1795, (page 100.) 
As then he resided more than a year and a half from the 4th No- 
vember, 1794, in the house of the American minister, he was cer- 
tainly there in February and September, 1795, and most probably 
in July, 1796, when the last letter was written. The first mentioned 
of these letters, it is true, when it was shewn to Mr. Monroe, was 
desired to be recalled, which was for that time accordingly done, 
but was afterwards sent in 1796. More than fifteen months after 
the date of this letter, Tom Paine was permitted to live with the 
American minister as one of his family, upon terms of familiar 
friendship, instead of which treatment he ought to have been in- 
stantly shewn the door, and forbid his house. In it he reproached 
the President for not interposing his exertions to obtain his lib- 
eration from the imprisonment inflicted by the ruling power of 
France, which he attributed wholly to his desire to keep him at a 
distance from the United States, "because (as he says) the pres- 
ence of a man who might disapprove of the administration, and who 

171 



68 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

had credit enough with the country to be heard and believed, was 
not wished/' In it he inveighed ako against the proclamation of 
neutrality and censured the conduct of Mr. Jat in his negociation» 
and some other steps of the Executive. 

The letter of the 20th September 1795, is concise, impudent, 
insolent, infamous. In this he demanded copies of whatever the 
President had written respecting him, either in his public or pri- 
vate letters, and concluded in the following words: ''I ought not to 
have suspected you of treachery, but whether I recover from the 
illness I now sufifer or not, I shall continue to think you treacherous 
till you give me cause to think otherwise. I am sure you would 
have found yourself more at your ease, had you acted by me as 
you ought; for whether your desertion of me was intended to grat- 
ify the English government, or to let me fall into destruction in 
France, that you might exclaim the louder against the French 
revolution; or whether you hoped by my extinction to meet with 
less opposition in mounting up the American government, either of 
these will involve you in reproach you will not easily shake oflF/* 
Let it be remembered, that Tom Paine when he wrote this letter 
had resided almost a year under the roof of the American minister, 
was then resident under the same roof, and for many months after- 
wards continued to reside there. 

The last letter of Tom Paine to President Washington is 
dated 30th July, 1796, when most probably he was still enjoying the 
friendly hospitality of the American minister. It consists of up- 
wards of fifty pages, and comprehends the two former, which are 
made parts of it. These three letters were sent to the editor of 
the Auroray the libel printer against the late President and his 
measures, and the friend of the American minister, in order that 
they might be published. Some extracts may be seen in the 
Aurora^ I believe, and the whole in a pamphlet which was printed 
by him in the fall of 1796, when the minds of our citizens were 
drawn to the choice of a successor to the President of the United 

172 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 60 

States, who had previously published his determination to retire. 
It is well known to every body that in the contest at the late elec- 
tion for President, the real political question to be decided was, 
whether the Washingtanian system of administration should be 
continued or not, which system was too independent to be pleasing 
to France. The French Republic was intent on raising to the 
helm Mr. Jefferson, who was deemed by it and as appears since 
from his reputed letter to Mazzei was justly deemed, hostile to that 
political system, if not to the constitution itself of the United States. 
The following is an extract from this almost incredible but ever 
memorable letter to Mazzei: *'Our political situation is prodigi- 
ously changed since you left us. Instead of that noble love of 
liberty, and that republican government^ which carried us trium- 
phantly through the dangers of the war, an Anglo-monarchico- 
aristocratic party has arisen. Their avowed object is to impose 
on us the substance, as they have already given us the form of the 
British government," &c. The only important change of govern- 
ment to which the writer alluded, was from the old confederation 
to the present constitution^ which is like (as he says) to the British 
government, and is not republican. Of course he cannot be ex- 
pected to love or revere it, but to hate it, if this is his real opinion 
of our constitution. 

This letter also adds ''It is sufficient that we guard ourselves 
and that we break the Lilliputian ties by which they have bound us 
in the first slumbers which succeeded our labours." What does 
this mean? What are the Lilliputian ties which the author means? 
As I conceive, the ties of the Constitution, and none else can be 
understood. Moreover, the letter says, "we have against us the 
Executive power ^ the Judiciary power j all the officers of government, 
and all who are seeking offices, all timid men." Need it be asked 
who is or can be meant by the Executive power, but the President 
of the United States. In short, what does this sentence mean but 
that the whole administration, the President, the Judges and all 

17S 



.:^ 



70 SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

the other officers are opx>osed to Republican government and at- 
tached to monarchy and are ready to destroy the liberties of Amer- 
ica? Lastly, the writer observes, '4t suffices that we arrest the 
progress of that system of ingratitude and injustice towards France 
from which they would alienate us to bring us under British in- 
fluence, &c/' I shall not permit myself to comment on these 
passages of the letter to Mazzei. But I do not now hesitate to 
say that I believe, and that it is generally believed, that this letter 
was written by Mr. Jefferson. If genuine, it surely proves that 
the expectations of France were well founded. For a long time be- 
fore the election, all Frenchmen, all ATnerican Democrats, and all 
malcontents had fixed on him to succeed the presidential authority 
and had made this the grand object of their political pursuits. 
From local and other considerations, many of our good citizens 
were disposed to favor his election also, at that time believing him 
more attached to the constitution and less opx>osed to the Washinn^ 
tonian administration, than they are now from subsequent infor- 
mation authorised to believe. 

To promote the election of this gentleman, all means were, it 
is believed, called into action, which were in the power of the 
French Republic. From this cause proceeded the letter of Tom 
Paine to President Washington, to which I have referred, a letter 
that is become very notorious, and is known by the appellation of 
the infamous letter of Tom Paine. It made its appearance at a 
time when it might impress the public opinion against any man who 
wished for a continuance of the system on which President Wash- 
ington had administered the government. Soon after this other 
publications of the same tendency were made; nor was any time 
thought so suitable for Mr. Adet to publish the angry manifesto 
of the French Republic, as when, in the state of Pennsylvania the 
people were about to give their votes for electors of the President 
of the United States. It was on the votes of this state, which> 
from the operation of the law were almost certain of being all on 

174 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 71 

the same side, that the election was supposed to depend. That 
the manifesto had a sensible effect on some of the inhabitants of 
our city of the Society of Friends, is not to be doubted. 

In this letter Tom Paine declares himself ^'opposed to almost 
the whole of his (Washington's) administration, and promises to 
prove it to have been deficient, if not perfidious, as well as unjust 
in respect to France/' This is what Mr. Monroe in his book does 
in substance undertake to prove: This too is the opinion which is 
contained in the letter to Mazzei; and this is the charge that the 
French Republic, by her functionaries has often repeated — That 
the people should believe that this charge is well founded, and that 
their confidence and affection were misplaced in their former Pres- 
ident, is deemed an important preliminary to the success of their 
plan of bringing about a change in the present administration, and 
perhaps in the constitution. Some of the writers avow this sen- 
timent in express terms, and Tom Paine declares his wish to change 
the constitution in some instances which are mentioned in the 
letter. 

Upon the political tapicks which are embraced in Tom Paine's 
letter, it must be observed that his opinions are consonate with 
those of Mr. Monroe on the same subjects as they are expressed 
in his letter and narrative. The similarity of ideas, and in a few 
instances of expressions, is so striking that the reader would nat- 
urally believe that the two authors held a free communion of sen- 
timents with each other, while they lived under the same roof. 
As it would be tedious to make quotations to prove this, I shall 
rely on the candor of those who shall read both, for the accuracy of 
the remark: nor shall I quote from the letter the many opprobrious 
and slanderous expressions which run throughout it, and which call 
forth the indignation of every honest man in every quarter of the 
world : But as I have adverted to the patronage afforded by Mr. 
Monroe, in his own house, to Tom Paine, for the space of more 
than eighteen months, while he was there writing insolent letters 

175 



7« SCIPIO'S REFLECTIONS 

to President Washington, to be communicated through the medi- 
um of Bache's Aurora, designed to injure the reputation of the 
President, to promote the views of the French Republic in regard 
to his successor, to strengthen the French faction among us, shake 
the confidence of the people in all those who approve and supported 
the Washington system, from a conviction that it was the widest 
and best for the common happiness, I must not, cannot forbear to 
present to public consideration the last paragraph of that most in- 
famous letter; from this sample well may be imagined the rest* 
It is as follows, "'this is the ground upon which America now stands. 
All her rights of commerce and navigation have to commence a- 
new, and that with the loss of character to begin with. If there is 
sense of shame enough left in the heart to call a blush into the 
cheek, the Washington administration must be ashamed to ap* 
pear — and as to you. Sir, treacherous in private friendship (for so 
you have been to me, and that, in the day of danger,) and a hypo- 
crite in jmblic life, the world will be puzzled to decide whether you 
are an apostate or an imposter; whether you have abandoned good 
principles, or whether you ever had any;" Who would have 
thought it possible that the author of this paragraph was the com- 
panion of the American minister, in his own house at Paris? It 
has been proved, and who can deny it after reading the proofs ^ 
In addition to the instances of misconduct in his ministry which 
have been specified and in aggravation of them, Mr. Monroe 
while an American minister is proved to have been the patron of 
Tom Paine the libel writer, and the confidential friend of Bache 
the libel printer, against the President and his administration. 

From the single motive of doing good, I have submitted my 
view of our late minister's conduct, arising principally from the 
documents which he has published. Ought the patron of Tom 
Paine, ought the friend of Bache, ought the man who had com- 
mitted the acts of misconduct to which I have adverted, ought the 
man who possessed the confidence of the opposition party in this 

17« 



► 



ON MONROE'S VIEW 78 

Country and of the French Rulers which he endeavoured to ac- 
quire by his subserviency, ought the man who paid more defer- 
ence to the judgment of the French faction which probably coin- 
cided with his own, than to the opinions and sentiments of your 
President — Ought such a man to have been continued as minister 
of the United States to the French Republic? Ought his asso- 
ciates in politics any longer to be countenanced. Ought they not 
all be abandoned as insidious enemies to the public weal, to the 
union, felicity and independence of these United States ? 

N. B. In No. 14, section 8, at the word objects, ends the 
sentence. 



f 



FINIS 



177 



'■\\ 



I : 



THE 



MAGAZINE OF HISTORY 



WITH 



NOTES AND QUERIES 



Extra Nttmb^r — N0. 33 



THE INDIAN COUNCIL IN THE VALLEY OF THE 

WALLA- WALLA Lawrence Kij) 



WILLIAM ABBATT 

TARRYTOWN NEW YORK 

1915 



« ■ 



THB 



Jnbiati Council 



IN THE 



VALLEY OF THE WALLA-WALLA. 



1855. 



[printed, not published.] 



SAN FRANCISCO: 

WHITTON, TOWNE & CO.. PRINTERS, EXCELSIOR JOB OFFICE, 
No. 101 Clat Strbit, tbibd dooi bblow MoMTGaontT 

1855. 



TARRYTOWN 
NEW YORK 

RBPSINTBD 

WILLIAM ABBATT 

1915 

Beiog Extra No. 39 of Thb Magazine op History witb Notes and Qxtbribs 



RES ABDUA YBTUSTiB novitatukI dabb; kovib auctobitatbii; obbolbtis, mroBBM ; 
OBBCUBU, LUCBli; FABTIDITI8, QBATICUii; DUBIIB, llDBii; OilNIBUB TBBO NATUBAK. BT 
NATUBAL SUA OICKIA. 

ItAQUB BTIAM NON ABBBCUTIB, VOLUIBBB ABUNDB PULCHBUII UTQUB ilAONinCUIC BBT* 

(It IB a difficult thing to give newness to old things, authority to new things* beauty to 
things out of use* fame to the obscure* favor to the hateful (or ugly)» credit to the doubtfuU 
nature to all and all to nature. To such, nevertheless as cannot attain to all theses it is 
greatly commendable and magnificial to have attempted the same. 

Punt, — ^preface to his Natural Eitiofy* 



EDITOR'S PREFACE 

IF the author's other book, Army L^e on the Pacific, which we 
reprinted as our Extra No. 30, is a scarce item of Americana, 
tms is even more so, for it was not even published; a few 
copies only having been printed for distribution among Lieutenant 
Kip's friends. Hence it is exceedingly rare; a copy being priced 
in a recently issued catalogue, at $25.00. 

Of the various persons mentioned in its pages, none survives. 

CAPTAIN B. L. E. BONNEVILLE, Seventh Infantry, was absent so long on the explora- 
ttons which made him famous, that his name was dropped from the rolls of the Army as 
probably dead. On his reappearance he was restored (1886), served through the Mexican 
War with the Fourth Infantry, and was retired in 1861. In 1865 he was bre vetted briga* 
dier general, and died in 1878, the oldest officer on the retired list. 

LIEUTENANT ARCHIBALD GRACIE, Fifth Infantry, resigned May 8, 1856. 
In 1861 he joined the Confederate army, and was killed as a brigadier general, Dec. 2, 1864» 
at Petersburg. 

CAPTAIN AND BREVET MAJOR GRANVILLE 0. HALLER, Fourth Infantry, 
a veteran of the Mexican War. Was dismissed from the Army in 1868, but reinstated in 
1879, and died in 1897. 

LIEUTENANT HENRY C. HODGES, Fourth Infantry, retired as Colonel and Asst. 
Q.M. Genl. in 1895. 

MAJOR GABRIEL J. RAINS, Fourth Infantry, resigned from the Army in 1861, and 
joined the Confederate army. He died in 1881. 

CAPTAIN DAVID A. RUSSELL, Fourth Infantry, a veteran of the Mexican War, 
became Colonel of the 7th Massachusetts in 1862, and was killed, as Major General U.S.A. 
in the battle of Opequan, Va., Sept. 19, 1864. 

GOVERNOR ISAAC I. STEVENS, a veteran of the Mexican War, had resigned as 
brevet major of Engineers, in 1858. He re-entered the Army in 1861, as Colonel of the 
Seventy-ninth N. Y. and was killed as Major General, at Chantilly, Va., Sept, 1, 1861S. 

CAPTAIN HENRY D. WALLEN, Fourth Infantry, was retired in 1874 as Colonel 
Second Infantry. He was brevetted brigadier general in 1865 for services during the War 
of the Rebellion and died in 1886. 

REV. MARCUS WHITMAN* the distinguished missionary-explorer, who saved Oregon 
to the United States, and was killed by the Indians at his missionary settlement of Wattlatpu, 
Oregon, Nov. 29, 1847. 

BRIGADIER GENERAL JOHN E. WOOL, a veteran of the War of 1812, and the 
Mencan War, became Major General in 1862, and was retired in 1868. He died in 1869. 



THESE pages are the expansion of a Journal kept while with 
the Escort from the 4th Infantry, at the Indian Council. A 
few copies are now printed for some personal friends. While 
it may show them the nature of Army life on the frontiers, it will 
preserve for the writer a record of some pleasant scenes on the 
plains, among tribes which in a few years will cease to exist. 

Lawrence Kip 
San Francisco, Sept. 1855. 



h 



THE 



INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA-WALLA 



JOURNAL 



IT was about ten o'clock on a morning in the beginning of May, 
that our good steamer crossed the bar at the mouth of the 
Columbia river, — from its shifting shoals the most dangerous 
navigation on the whole Pacific coast. Our passage of six days 
from San Francisco had been remarkably stormy, and probably 
there were none on board more delighted than myself at the pros- 
pect of once more standing on terra firma. *Xife on the ocean 
wave,'* has some very pretty poetical ideas connected with it, but 
I prefer to have got through with all my rocking in my babyhood, 
and now sympathize with the Conservative party in wishing all 
things to be firm and stable. I am unfortunately one of those 

"Whose soul does sicken o'er the heaving wave." 

At noon we reached the village of Astoria, rendered classical 
ground by Washington Irving. An old trapper still living, who 
belonged to Mr. Astor's first party, says, he has often seen one 
thousand Indian canoes at a time collected on the beach in front of 
the fort. When the Hudson Bay Company took charge of it, they 
removed their establishment up the river to Vancouver, and al- 
lowed the fort to fall into decay, till not a vestige of it now remains. 
A few houses, like the beginning of a village, are scattered along 
the banks which slope down to the river, wooded to the edge with 
pines. Opposite to this we anchored for a few hours to land freight, 
and then continuing our course up the river, night found us still 
"on our winding way." 

At daylight I was awakened by the ceasing of the monotonous 
stroke of the engine and found we were opposite to Fort Vancouver. 
The sun was just rising when I came on deck, so that I had the 
whole scene before me. Near the river are low meadow grounds, 
on which stands the post of the Hudson Bay Company, — a picketed 
enclosure of about three hundred yards square, composed of 
roughly split pine logs. Within this are the buildings of the es- 

185 



8 INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA-WALLA 

tablishment, where once much of its immense fur trade was carried 
on. From these head-quarters, their companies of trappers, 
hunters and voyageurs, generally Canadians, were sent out to 
thread the rivers in pursuit of the beaver. Alone they traversed 
the vast plains, or passed months in the heart of the mountains, 
far north to the Russian possessions, or south to the borders of 
California, returning in one or two years with the furs to barter 
at the Fort. Then came generally a short time of the wildest 
revelry, imtil everything was dissipated or perhaps gambled away, 
when with a new outfit they set forth on another expedition. From 
Vancouver the Company sent their cargoes of furs and peltries to 
England, and thence they received by sea their yearly supplies. 
They possessed an influence over the Indians which was wonderful 
and which the perfect system of their operations enabled them for 
years to maintain. But the transfer of the country to the Amer- 
icans and the progress of civilization around them, driving off the 
Indians and beaver, have forced them to remove much of their 
business to other posts. 

Some distance back the ground rises, and on this ridge stand 
the buildings of Fort Vancouver, one of the frontier posts of the 
United States Army, marked by the American flag waving on the 
parade ground in front. Far in the distance, like a cone of silver, 
on which the first rays of the sun were glancing, rose the snow- 
capped points of Mount Hood. 

Among our passengers were one hundred and fifty recruits for 
the 4th Infantry, in charge of Captain Augur, with whom I landed 
about six o'clock, and was soon at the hospitable quarters of Cap- 
tain Wallen. 

Fort Vancouver was at this time under the command of Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Bonneville, whose "Adventures" for three years 
in the adjoining Indian country will always live and be read in the 
fascinating pages of Irving. Two companies of the 4th Infantry 
and one of the Sd Artillery were stationed there. Altogether, it 

186 



INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA-WALLA 

is probably the most pleasant of our posts on the Pacific coast. 
The place is healthy, the scenery around beautiful, furnishing op- 
portunities of fishing, hunting and ridmg, while its nearness to 
Portland and Oregon City, prevents the young officers from being, 
as at many other Western posts, deprived of the refining influence 
of female society. Many are the occasions on which they find it 
necessary to drop down to these places. Deserters are supposed to 
be lurking there, garrison stores are to be provided, or some other 
of Uncle Sam's interests are to be looked after. Then, these visits 
must be returned, for the inhabitants of these places have an equal 
care for the welfare of their neighbors at the fort. Numerous, 
therefore, are the parties of pleasure which come from these towns 
to enliven the solitude of the garrison. On these occasions they 
are welcomed by balls, and night after night the fine music of the 
Regimental Band is heard floating over the waters of the Columbia 
river and the brilliant glare of lights from the Fort shows that 
tattoo is not the signal for all within its walls to retire. 

Here, a few days passed pleasantly, in the way garrison life 
always does. In such places there is but little change. "One day 
telleth another." Guard mounting — ^the morning ride — the drill 
— ^the long talk over the dinner table — the evening parade — the 
still longer talk at night, with reminiscences of West Point days — 
and then to bed. At this time. Lieutenant Hodges (4th Infantry) 
was ordered to the post at the Dalles, about ninety miles distant, 
to conduct thither a company of recruits, and I, having no very 
definite object in view, except to see as much of the country as 
possible, determined to accompany him. 

We left Vancouver about six a. m. in a little steamer, the 
Belle, which runs up Columbia river about fifty miles, as far as the 
Cascades. The scenery of the river is in all parts beautiful, but 
very varied in its character. The pine forests stretch down to the 
banks, enlivened here and there by the cultivated spot which some 
settler has cleared, whose axe awakened new and strange echoes 

187 



10 INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA-WALLA 

as it rang through the primeval woods. On the margin of the 
shore, and particularly on one of the islands, we noticed the dead- 
houses of the Indians, rudely constructed of logs. Within, the 
bodies of the deceased are placed for a time, attired in their best 
array, until the building becomes filled. Then, the oldest oc- 
cupants are removed and placed on the shore, till the tide launches 
them off on their last voyage and they are swept down to the ocean, 
which to the "untutored savage," as to his more cultivated breth- 
ren, symbolizes Eternity. 

About noon, after a morning of almost incessant rain, we 
reached the Cascades, the head of navigation. Here, a portage 
has to be made, as the river for more than two miles flows over the 
rocks, whirling and boiling in a succession of rapids, similar to 
those in the river St. Lawrence. This is the great salmon fishery 
of the Columbia river, the season for which commences in this 
month, when the fish descend* the river in incredible numbers. 
The banks are inhabited by the remains of some of the Indian 
tribes, who display their skill in catching the salmon, which they 
dry for exportation. As we passed up, we found them scattered 
along the shore employed in this work. Little bridges are thrown 
out over the rocks, on which the Indians post themselves, with 
nets on hoops, to which long handles are attached. With these 
they scoop up the fish and throw them on the shore. They are 
then pounded fine between two stones, cured, and tightly packed 
in bales of grass matting lined with dried fish skin, in which state 
they will keep for years. The process is precisely the same as it 
was when described by Lewis and Clarke. The aboriginal village 
of Wish-ram, at the head of the narrows, which they mention as 
being the place of resort for the tribes from the interior to barter 
for fish, is yet in existence. We still notice, too, the difference 
which the early explorers observed, between these Indians and 
those of the plains. The latter, living on horseback, are finely 
developed, and look like warriors; the former, engaged only in 

*As the fish go up the river to spawn, this is evidently a slip of the pen for "ascend." 

188 



INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA 11 

their canoes or stooping over the banks, are low in stature and seem 
to have been dwarfed out of all manhood. In everything noble 
they are many degrees below the wild tribes on the plains. 

We walked for about three miles, until we had passed the 
Cascades, and then took another little steamer which was to carry 
us to the Dalles. The scenery above is similar to that which we 
had already passed. In one place the mountains seem to come 
down to the river, ending in a huge rock perfectly steep, which has 
received the name of Cape Horn. Above, the precipices are cov- 
ered with fir and white cedar; two small cascades, like silver lines, 
leap from point to point for a distance of one hundred and fifty 
feet, while below, in the deep shadow the waters seem to sweep 
around the rocks with a sullen sound. About ten at night we 
reached the end of our journey. 

The post at the Dalles possesses none of the outward attrac- 
tions of scenery which distinguish that of Vancouver. Its princi- 
pal recommendation is its healthiness. The buildmgs are badly 
arranged, having been planned and erected some years ago by the 
Mounted Rifles, when they were stationed in Oregon. The offi- 
cers' quarters are on the top of a hill, and the barracks for the men 
some distance further down, as if the officers intended to get as 
far from them as possible. There is a want of compactness, and 
as there is no stockade — ^nothing in the shape of a fortification — 
in case of an outbreak by any hostile tribe of Indians, the post 
might easily be surprised. At this time, two Companies of the 
4th Infantry were stationed there under the command of Major 
Rains. 

Here I spent a week very much as I had done at Vancouver. 
During this time we were enlivened by a visit from Governor 
Stevens, the Governor of Washington Territory. He was on his 
way to the interior of the Indian country — ^to Walla- Walla — ^in 
connection with the Indian Commissioners, to hold a Grand Coun- 

189 



18 INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA-WALLA 

oil, to which he had summoned the tribes far and near. For some 
time they have been restless, numerous murders of emigrants 
crossing the plains, have occurred, and it is deemed necessary by 
the Government to remove some of the tribes to Reservations 
which have been selected for them. The object of this Council 
was, therefore, to propose to them the purchase of their territory — 
a proposition which it was expected, (as it afterwards proved,) 
would be received by some tribes with violent opposition. Gov- 
ernor Stevens had therefore stopped to request a small body of 
troops to be sent on to meet him at the Council ground, to act as 
escort to the Commissioners, and also to guard the presents which 
were to be forwarded for distribution among the Indians. 

A Lieutenant and about forty men were therefore detailed 
by Major Rains for this duty, to which were added two half-breeds 
to act as packers, and a Cayuse Indian, who was to officiate as 
guide. This worthy, from having been shot in the mouth in a 
fight with the Snake Indians, rejoiced in the aoubriqiiet of Cut- 
mouth John. Wounds are said to be honorable, particularly when 
received in front, but this was certainly not ornamental, for it had 
given him a dreadful distortion of visage. 

On the invitation of the young commander of the expedition, 
I agreed to accompany it. The choice of this officer indeed held 
out every promise of a pleasant time. Lieutenant Archibald 
Gracie, in addition to his high qualifications as a soldier and gentle- 
man, (traits which he shares in common with the other officers of 
the post,) had for my purpose the advantage of our cadet life to- 
gether for a while at West Point, which gave us a common topic 
and groimd of interest in the past. Many an evening, therefore, 
have we spent lying before our camp fire, out on the still plains or 
by the rushing waters of the Umatilla, talking over these recol- 
lections or discussing the probable fortunes of those who were with 
us in the House of Bondage. 

190 



INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA 18 

Our preparations were soon made, for army expeditions do 
not allow much time for packing of trunks. The command was 
mounted, some fifteen pack mules added to carry the camp equip- 
age, and about noon. May 18th, we bid farewell to the officers and 
rode away from the Dalles. Our course during the afternoon was 
through the Des Chutes Valley, an admirable country for grazing, 
as the temperature is such that cattle can be kept out for the whole 
year and always find subsistence. It was formerly the place where 
the Hudson Bay Company raised all the best horses they used. 
The country appears, however, from the absence of timber, to be 
waste and desolate, though the soil is said to be rich and admirably 
adapted to agriculture. After passing the little river of Des 
Chutes, we found some springs near the Columbia and encamped, 
having advanced about twenty miles. 

Our arrangements for sleeping were soon made. We carried 
no tents, so that a buffalo robe and a blanket formed all our bed- 
room furniture. This did well enough on pleasant nights, but when 
it rained, it required some skill to take refuge under the buffalo 
robe in such a way as to keep dry, and not to wake up finding one's 
self lying in a pool of water. As soon as we encamped, fires were 
made by the soldiers and the cooking commenced. Our suppers 
indeed, were not very sumptuous, the invariable bill of fare being, 
bacon, hard biscuit and a cup of coffee. Yet a long day's ride 
would supply the appetite, and after the horses were picketed and 
we were sitting cosily by the fire or were lying down watching the 
stars above us, with no sound on the wide plain but the measured 
tread of our sentinel, there was a degree of freedom about it far 
more pleasant than the conventional life of cities. 

Saturday, May 9th. — ^We were up early this morning with the 
intention of making a long march, but were disapi>ointed, as some 
of our animals had strayed off. There being no Indians in the 
neighborhood, they had been turned out loose. Men had to be 
sent out to hunt them up, and it was near eleven o'clock before the 

191 



14 INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA-WALLA 

command was ready to march. However, we improved on the 
previous day, going twenty-five miles. During the morning, we 
reached John Day's River. This, so called from a hunter who was 
one of the original members of Mr. Astor's enterprise, it took us 
some time to cross, as the water was high, and all the pack mules 
had to be unloaded and their packs taken across in a canoe. We 
went into camp about five o'clock. 

Sunday, May 20th. — This was anything but a day of rest, for 
our march was the most severe one we have had, being more than 
forty miles, with the sun, hot as the tropics, beating down upon 
our heads. There was nothing, too, in the appearance of the 
country to afford any relief. Far as the eye could reach was only 
a wide sunburnt plain, perfectly lifeless, for the summer suns, by 
burning up the herbage, had driven the game to seek refuge by the 
rivers. The prairie was covered with only a miserable crop of 
salt weed and wormwood, and our animals drooped as we pushed 
on to find some resting place. Added to this was the want of water, 
for often in these regions we are obliged to njiarch from twenty to 
twenty-five miles, before we can reach a spring or water course. 
We were forced in this case to ride the whole day without stopping, 
until towards evening we reached Wells' Springs, a desolate looking 
place, at the foot of a range of hills. Here, however, we had water, 
and therefore encamped. Night, too, was at hand, so that we 
were relieved from the intolerable glare and heat, and in addition, 
one of the corporals had the good fortune to shoot a couple of ducks 
which were lingering about in the neighborhood of the spring, so 
that our evening fare was quite luxurious. 

Monday, May Slst — To-day we made a shorter march, of 
thirty miles, and went into camp at three o'clock. Three miles 
from our camping ground we passed the Indian Agency, a house 
erected by Government at an expense of six thousand dollars, for 
the residence of the Agent. He is, however, seldom here, making 
his home generally at the Dalles, and when we passed the place it 

192 



INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA 15 

was unoccupied. In the evening a party of Indians, whom we 
found to be Walla- Wallas, rode into camp. After a little pow-wow 
they left us, but having some suspicions of our visitors, our little 
camp was arranged with extra care. The horses were carefully 
picketed, lest they should be run off, and Lieutenant Gracie di- 
rected the guard in walking their rounds to examine that their 
muskets were ready for immediate use. 

In the course of the night the rain had commenced and Lieu- 
tenant Gracie and I were striving to keep dry and sleep under the 
little tent of pack covers we had hastily erected, when we were 
startled from our first slumbers by a terrific yell. It may be im- 
agined that it did not take us many seconds to be on our feet, with 
our pistols ready for, what we supposed, was an attack. Looking 
out, however, in the dark night, every thing seemed quiet on the 
prairie. The animals were grazing around, and not an Indian to 
be seen. Upon inquiry, we discovered that the disturbance had 
been caused by one of the soldiers finding a large snake in bed with 
him. The reptile probably did not like the rain, and therefore 
crawled under the soldier's blanket for warmth. What species 
it was we did not learn, for the snake, disgusted with his inhos- 
pitable reception, glided away, and the soldier did not detain him 
to make any enquiries about his parentage. 

Tuesday f May SM. — Our course this morning was through 
the same desolate country, until we struck the Umatilla, a beauti- 
ful stream fringed with trees. About ten o'clock we came upon 
a party of ten soldiers of the 4th Infantry, who were encamped by 
the river. They had been sent out from the Dalles a week before, 
under the command of a corporal, in pursuit of some Indian mur- 
derers, in finding whom, however, they had been successful. 
As Lieutenant Gracie had been directed, in event of meeting them, 
to add them to his command, their camp was broken up and they 
marched on with us, making the number of soldiers forty-seven. 
Towards evening our guide announced that we were but a few 

193 



16 INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA 

miles from the valley which was the residence of the Cayuse tribe. 
Lieutenant Gracie, therefore, sent on the soldiers under command 
of a sergeant to find a camping place for the night, while we, under 
the guidance of Mr. Cut-mouth John, struck across the country 
to visit his countrymen. We found their lodges in a beautiful, 
well-watered valley, which I am not surprised they are unwilling 
to give up. They are, however, much diminished in numbers, 
and did not seem to amount to more than two hundred. We 
went into several of their lodges, and although they are notoriously 
the most unfriendly tribe to the whites among all the Indians in 
this region, of which we afterwards had some strong evidences, 
yet on this occasion they received us well and showed no feelings 
but those of cordiality. After leaving them, we returned to the 
trail, and riding on about five miles, found our party encamped by 
the Umatilla. 

Wednesday 9 May 23d. — ^At two o'clock p. m., we arrived at 
the ground selected for the Council, having made the march in six 
days. It was in one of the most beautiful si>ots of the Walla- 
Walla Valley, well wooded and with plenty of water. Ten miles 
distant is seen the range of the Blue Mountains, forming the south- 
east boundary of the great plains along the Columbia, whose waters 
it divides from those of Lewis river. It stretches away along the 
horizon until it is lost in the dim distance, where the chain unites 
with the Snake River Mountains. 

Here we found General Palmer, the Indian Agent, and Gov- 
ernor Stevens, with their party, who had already pitched their 
tents. With the latter we dined. As was proper for the highest 
dignitary on the ground, he had a dining room separate from his 
tent. An arbor had been erected near it, in which was placed a 
table, hastily constructed from split pine logs, smoothed off, but 
not very smooth. Our own preparations were made for a more 
permanent encampment than we have as yet had : a tent was pro- 
cured for Lieutenant Gracie and myself, while the men erected for 
themselves huts of boughs, spreading over them pack covers. 

194 



INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA-WALLA 17 

Thursday^ May SMh. — ^This has been an exceedingly interest- 
ing day, as about twenty-five hundred of the Nez Perc6 tribe have 
arrived. It was our first specimen of this Prairie chivalry, and it 
certainly realized all our conceptions of these wild warriors of the 
plains. Their coming was announced about ten o'clock, and go- 
ing out on the plain to where a flag staff had been erected, we saw 
them approaching on horseback in one long line. They were al- 
most entirely naked, gaudily painted and decorated with their 
wild trappings. Their plumes fluttered above them, while below, 
skins and trinkets and all kinds of fantastic embellishments flaunted 
in the sunshine. Trained from early childhood almost to live upon 
horseback, they sat upon their fine animals as if they were centaurs. 
Their horses, too, were arrayed in the most glaring finery. They 
were painted with such colors as formed the greatest contrast; the 
white being smeared with crimson in fantastic figures, and the 
dark colored streaked with white clay. Beads and fringes of 
gaudy colors were hanging from the bridles, while the plumes of 
eagle feathers interwoven with the mane and tail, fluttered as the 
breeze swept over them, and completed their wild and fantastic 
appearance. 

When about a mile distant they halted, and half a dozen chiefs 
rode forward and were presented to Governor Stevens and General 
Palmer, in the order of their rank. Then on came the rest of the 
wild horsemen in single file, clashing their shields, singing and 
beating their drums as they marched past us. Then they formed 
a circle and dashed around us, while our little group stood there, 
the center of their wild evolutions. They would gallop up as if 
about to make a charge, then wheel round and round, sounding 
their loud whoops until they had apparently worked themselves 
up into an intense excitement. Then some score or two dismount- 
ed, and forming a ring, danced for about twenty minutes, while 
those surrounding them beat time on their drums. 

196 



18 INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA 

After these performances, more than twenty of the chiefs 
went over to the tent of Governor Stevens, where they sat for 
sometime, smoking the "pipe of peace," in token of good fellow- 
ship, and then returned to their campmg ground. 

fVhe Nez Perces, or pierced-nose Indians, received this name 
from the early traders and trappers, but they call themselves by 
the name of Chipunnish. While they/are the most friendly to the 
whites of any tribe in this region, they are at the same time one of 
the most numerous and powerful, roaming over the whole Rocky 
Mountains, along the streams to the West, and across the almost 
limitless plains to the East, until they reach the hunting grounds 
of the tribes of the Missouri. They hunt the elk, the white bear, 
the mountain sheep and the buffalo, while they trap the beaver 
to sell the skins to the whites. They are celebrated for their 
droves of horses, which, after being branded, are turned loose to 
roam upon the fertile plains till needed by their owners : when this 
is the case, it requires but a few days to break them suflSciently to 
answer the purpose of their bold riders. 

About seventy women were seen among the warriors, for their 
presence is necessary when the tribe is to be encamped for any 
length of time. They perform all the menial offices, arranging 
the lodge, cooking and bringing wood, for it would be a disgrace 
to their lords to be seen engaged in these things. It would procure 
for them the title of squaws. Every thing but the perils of war and 
the chase are beneath their attention. When at home and not 
occupied in preparing their arms, or in feats of horsemanship, they 
are gambling, lounging in groups on the mounds of the prairie, or 
listening to some story-teller, who recounts the exploits of the old 
warriors of the tribe. 

The Walla- Wallas, another of the principal tribes present, is 
one much reduced in numbers and in importance since the pioneer 
trappers first came among them. They range through the valley 

196 



INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA 19 

for thirt(y miles, to old Fort Walla-Walla, once a central trading 
post of the Hudson Bay Company, on the left bank of the Colum- 
bia river near where the Walla-Walla empties into it. 

In the afternoon I visited the lodge of an old chief of the Nez 
Perces, named Lawyer. He showed us a wound in his side from 
which he was yet suffering, although several years had elapsed 
since it was received. It had been inflicted in a fight with their old 
hereditary enemies, the Blackfeet Indians. These are the most 
dangerous banditti among all the tribes, — ^perfect IshmaeUtes — 
who, while they are at war with all the neighboring savages, have 
nourished the most implacable hatred to the whites, since they 
first met them in the days of Lewis and Clarke. War is their em- 
ployment, and the booty they gain by it, their support. They are 
admirable horsemen and as much distinguished for their treachery 
as for their headlong courage. Their himting grounds extend 
from the Yellow Stone and Missouri rivers to the Rocky Moun- 
tains. He showed us also some locks of their hair which he wore 
about him, — ^not as love tokens, or presented willingly by the for- 
mer owners, but rather the reverse, as I presume they are the re- 
mains of scalps he had taken. 

To-day Governor Stevens and Mr. Doty, one of his party, 
dined with us. It was the first dinner party we had given in the 
wilderness. Yet think not, O ye who dine your friends at Del- 
monico's, that our entertainment was at all Uke yours ! In the 
centre of our tent, a buffalo robe was laid on the ground (the luxury 
of a table being confined to the Governor), on which were placed 
the tin plates which were our only dishes, for china is not adapted 
to mule traveling on the plains. About this we reclined rather in 
the Oriental style. At one end of the table (I mean the buffalo 
skin) was a beef steak from one of the cattle daily killed at the 
camp, and at the other end a portion of the same unfortunate 
animal's liver. One side-dish was a plate of potatoes — the other, 
a plate of bread of leaden heaviness. The second course was — 

197 



20 INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA 

coffee, likewise served in tin cups. Yet we gathered around this 
feast with appetites which could not be found among the strollers 
in Broadway, and which it required no French sauces to provoke. 

Friday^ May 25th. — ^We woke this morning to hear the rain 
pattering about us, and to be thankful that we were encamped, and 
not obUged to resume our march. At noon it cleared up, when we 
procured our horses and rode over to the Indian camp to pay an- 
other visit to our friend Lawyer. We found the old chief sur- 
rounded by his family and reading a portion of the New Testa- 
ment, while a German soldier of Governor Stevens' party, was en- 
gaged taking his portrait in crayon. He afterwards presented me 
with a copy, which I keep as a memento of these pleasant days in 
the wilderness. 

In the evening he came to our tent to return our visit. We 
feasted him to the best of our ability, not omitting the indispens- 
able pipe, and he seemed exceedingly gratified with his entertain- 
ment. A discussion had taken place sometime before, as to the 
hospitality of the Indians, and Lieutenant Gracie determined on 
this occasion to test the question: so, when the old chief's heart 
seemed to be warmed up with our good cheer, he enquired, 
"Whether Lawyer would be glad to see him if he came to his 
country to make a short visit?" To this rather direct hint no 
reply was for some time given, and the old man evidently endeav- 
ored to change the subject. At last, finding it pressed upon him, 
he said — ^'^That Mr. Craig," (an American,) "had a very good 
house not far from his lodge." The nearest to an invitation that he 
would give, was to answer in reply to Lieutenant Gracie's question, 
"Perhaps so." 

Saturday^ May 26th. — I spent the morning on horseback 
exploring the country. In the course of my ride I met an Indian 
boy with a prairie chicken he had just killed, and which he was 
delighted to exchange for an old silk handkerchief. There are 

198 



INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA-WALLA £1 

three peculiarities for which this region of country has been re- 
marked, — its gorgeous sunsets, — ^the rapidity with which the water 
in its streams rises and falls, — and the contrast between its hot 
days and cold nights. ^ 

/Towards evening the Cayuse tribe arrived, numbering about 
three hundred. They came in whooping and singing in the Indian 
fashion, and after riding round the camp of the Nez Perces two or 
three times, they retired to form their own at some little distance. 
In a short time some of the principal chiefs paid their respects to 
Governor Stevens and then came down to look at our camp. It 
was not, as we had reason to believe afterwards, a friendly visit, 
but rather a reconnaissance to learn our numbers and estimate our 
powers of resistance. In the evening I again visited Lawyer and 
also a number of his tribe. Some of them we found singing sacred 
music to prepare for to-morrow, which is Sunday. 

Sunday^ May 27th. — The rain this morning when we woke, 
was not pattering upon our tent, but fairly splashing around it, so 
that we were contented to keep within its covering till noon, when 
the returning sunshine invited us forth. After riding over to 
Governor Stevens' to lunch, we went to the Nez Perce camp, where 
we found they were holding service in one of the largest lodges : two 
of the chiefs were officiating, one of them delivering an address, 
(taking the Ten Commandments for his text,) and at the end of 
each sentence the other chief would repeat it in a louder tone of 
voice. This is their invariable custom with all their speeches. 
Everything was conducted with the greatest propriety, and the 
singing, in which they all joined, had an exceedingly musical effect. 
There is an odd mixture of this world and the next in some of the 
Nez Percys, — an equal love for fighting and devotion — ^the wildest 
Indian traits with a strictness in some religious rites which might 
shame those **who profess and call themselves Christians." They 
have prayers in their lodges every morning and evening — service 
several times on Sunday — and nothing will induce them on that 
day to engage in any trading. 

199 



22 INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA 

At an early day the Roman CathoKc Missionaries went among 
them, and as the tribe seemed blessed with a more tractable dis- 
position than most of their brethren, the labors of the Fathers ap- 
pear to have met with considerable success* A kind of Chris- 
tianity was introduced among them, strangely altered, indeed, in 
many respects, to make it harmonize with Indian thoughts and 
actions, yet still retaining many of the great truths of the faith* 
It exerted, too, a very perceptible influence over their system of 
morahty. The Methodists, I believe, have more recently added 
their teaching; so that if the theological creed of the Nez Percys 
was now investigated, it would probably be an odd system, which 
would startle an ordinary D.D. 

After service we rode through the Cayuse camp, but saw no 
evidence of Sunday there. The young warriors were lounging 
about their lodges, preparing their arms or taking care of their 
horses, to be ready for their evening races. The Christianity 
among these Indians, we suspect, is confined to the Nez Percys. 

Monday^ May 28th. — ^At noon to-day I rode out about five 
miles from our camp to visit some gentlemen who reside on the 
site of one of the old Missions. It was once the residence of the 
Methodist missionaries, who seem to have succeeded the Roman 
CathoKc priests in some parts of this country. For what reason, 
I know not, they appear to have abandoned their ground, and when 
the old adobe buildings stood vacant, being well situated, with 
timber around, they were taken by these gentlemen who were en- 
deavoring to raise stock, to sell to emigrants crossing the plains, 
or settlers who will soon be "locating" themselves through these 
valleys. They have since abandoned it and moved fifty miles 
farther into the interior to a claim of their own. About a stone's 
throw from the house are the graves of Dr. Whitman and his 
family, (seven in number,) who were murdered in 1847, by a band 
of Cayuses. He was, I believe, physician to the Mission. 

200 



INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA £8 

We spent the afternoon at the Nez Perce camp, where a band 
of some thirty young warriors were engaged in dancing and singing. 
Their musical instruments are few in number and of the rudest 
kind. The singing is very harsh, and to us, who listened to it only 
as a collection of sounds, seemed utterly discordant. The songs 
are almost entirely extemporaneous, like the Improvisatore reci- 
tations of the Italians, a narrative of some past events, or perhaps 
suggested by the sight of persons present, or by trifling circum- 
stances known to the audience. We never saw the women dancing, 
and believe they rarely do, and never with the men. 

During the dancing we had a little interlude in the shape of a 
speech. A young chief dehvered it, and at the end of each sentence 
it was repeated in a louder voice by one of the old men. This rep- 
etition is their invariable custon, and a crier seems to be a neces- 
sary accompaniment to all their villages. 

To-day, leading chiefs belonging to some of the most distant 
tribes, attended by their followers, have been coming in to the 
camp, and most of those for which the Commissioners have been 
waiting are now represented. Their encampments and lodges are 
scattered over the valley for more than a mile, presenting a wild 
and fantastic appearance. The Council will probably open to- 
morrow. According to the original orders received by Lieutenant 
Gracie, this was to have been our last day here, but foreseeing this 
delay. Governor Stevens had some time ago sent an express to the 
Dalles, stating the necessity for the soldiers remaining. To-day 
the express returned, bringing instructions from Major Haller to 
Lieutenant Gracie, authorizing him to remain on the Council- 
ground until the treaty was concluded, and informing him that pro- 
visions had been sent to the escort for seven days more. 

Tuesday J May 29th. — To-day the Council was to have met at 
twelve, but it was two o'clock before it came together. About 
eight tribes were represented. Nothing, however, was done but 

201 



24 INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA-WALLA 

to organize the Council and swear in the interpreters. Governor 
Stevens then made them a short address. All this occupied about 
two hours, when it began to rain and the Council adjourned to 
meet again at ten o'clock to-morrow morning if the weather should 
be pleasant: otherwise, on the first pleasant day. A fine prospect 
for the extension of our stay in the valley! There are about five 
thousand Indians, including squaws and children, on the ground. 

We had another of our recherche dinner parties this evening, 
entertaining one of the gentlemen residing at the Mission, and an- 
other attached to Governor Stevens' party. We received to-day 
news of the inspection visit of General Wool to Fort Vancouver 
and his order for an expedition to set out on the twentieth of June 
from Fort Dalles, for the Snake Indian country, the force to be 
commanded by Major Haller. 

Wednesday^ May 30th. — ^At one o'clock this afternoon the 
Council met, and business seems to be really commencing. It was 
a very striking scene. Directly in front of Governor Stevens' 
tent a small arbor had been erected, in which, at a table, sat several 
of his party taking notes of every thing said. In front of the arbor 
on a bench sat Governor Stevens and General Palmer, and before 
them, in the open air, in concentric semicircles, were ranged the 
Indians, the chiefs in the front ranks, in the order of their dignity, 
while the far back ground was filled with women and children. 
The Indians sat on the ground, (in their own words,) "reposing on 
the bosom of their Great Mother." There were probably a thou- 
sand present at a time. 

After smoking for half an hour, (a ceremony which with them 
precedes all business,) the Council was opened by a short address 
from General Palmer. Governor Stevens then rose and made a 
long speech, setting forth the object of the Council and what was 
desired of them. As he finished- each sentence, the interpreters 
repeated it to two of the Indians, who announced it in a loud voice 

202 



INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA-WALLA U 

to the rest — one in the Nez Perce and the other in the Walla- Walla 
language. This process necessarily causes business to move 
slowly. 

Many of the Indians have been to our camp to visit us to-day 
among them, Stechus, an old Chief of the Cayuses. 

Thursday^ May 31st. — On arriving at Governor Stevens' tent 
I found that the Council had abeady met. After the usual pre- 
amble of smoking, Governor Stevens and General Palmer, in suc- 
cession, made long speeches to them^xplaining the benefits they 
would receive from signing this treaty, and the advantages which 
would result to them from their removal to the new lands offered 
in exchange for their present hunting grounds. The Council 
lasted till three o'clock. 

This evening we went, as usual, to the Nez Perce camp. 
There was a foot-race, but the great events of the evening were the 
horse-races. Each of the tribes now here possesses large numbers 
of horses, so that wherever they are, the prairies about them are 
covered with these animals roaming at large until wanted by their 
masters. Part of these are derived from the wild horses of the 
prairies, while some, from the marks with which they are branded, 
show that they have been stolen from the Spaniards in Upper 
Mexico. To capture horses is esteemed next in honor to laurels 
gained in actual war, and they will follow the party of a hostile 
tribe for weeks, watching an opportunity to "run off" their horses. 
It is for this, too, that they are hovering around the emigrants on 
the plains, who some times by a stampede^ or a single bold dash, 
lose in a night all their animals, and are left helpless on the plains, 
as a ship at sea without sails. 

Living as they do on horseback, racing forms one of their 
greatest amusements. They will ride for miles, often having 
heavy bets depending on the result. On this occasion we saw 
nearly thirty Indians start at once and dash over the plain like the 
winds, sweeping round in a circle of several miles. 

203 



26 INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA 

Friday y June 1st — The Council did not meet this morning, as 
the Indians wished time to consider the proposal made to them 
during the last few days. We learned that two or three of the 
half-civilized Nez PercAs, who could write, were keeping a minute 
account of all that transpired at these meetings. 

At the races this evening a serious accident took place, and 
which had nearly proved fatal. The Indians, as usual, were 
dashing about on horseback, some going up and others down, when 
two of them came in collision, knocking down both horses and 
leaving the riders senseless. No bones happened to be broken: 
the "medicine men'* took charge of them, and it is supposed they 
will recover. 

To-day has been the warmest we have had: there has not been 
a breath of air stirring, and the valley seemed like an extensive 
oven. At evening, however, the skies darkened, and for two 
hours we had the most tremendous thimder storm I ever witnessed. 
It was worthy of the tropics. 

Saturday, June 2d. — ^Just before I was up this morning we had 
a call from some of the Indians, who pay little regard to visiting 
hours. After breakfast I rode over to see the gentlemen at the 
old Mission, and on my return to camp foimd that the Council 
was already assembled, having met at twelve o'clock. The In- 
dian Chiefs had at length begun to reply, so that another step has 
been gained. After Governor Stevens*opening speech, several of 
them followed in short addresses. I arrived there just in time to 
hear the last one, made by one of the Cayuse Chiefs. He did not 
commit himself as to what they would do, but the whole tenor of 
his address was unfavorable to the reception of the treaty. After 
a few words in conclusion from Governor Stevens, the Council 
adjourned imtil ten o'clock on Monday. 

Then came part of my daily routine of amusement, to ride out 
and see Lieutenant Gracie practice the soldiers at target firing. 

£04 



INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA-WALLA 27 

He has been gradually lengthening the distance, and some of the 
men are now able to make very admirable shots. At the Indian 
camp to-night there was a great foot-race between about a dozen 
competitors, who ran over two miles. It was a good test of the 
long-winded endurance of the young warriors. As they raced oflF 
over the plain, parties of the Indians and those of us who were on 
horseback, rode on each side of them, the friends of the competitors 
encouraging them and taunting those who flagged. 

Sunday 9 June Sd. — ^A quiet day, most of it spent in reading in 
my tent. In the afternoon rode over to the Mission, and on my 
return dined with Governor Stevens. This evening the pack 
mules from Fort Dalles, with seven days' provisions, arrived at 
the Mission and are to be brought over early to-morrow morning 
by some of the soldiers. 

Monday, June 4th — Breakfast at the fashionable hour of ten, 
as I was waiting for Lieutenant Gracie, who was obliged to go 
early to the Mission to see about the pack mules. An express 
came in this morning from the Dalles, giving him orders to join 
Major Haller's command, forty-five miles below this place, as soon 
as the Council breaks up. 

The diplomatists met to-day at half-past one o'clock. After 
Governor Stevens' address, the old Chief, Lawyer, spoke, which 
was the first time anything had been heard from the Nez Percys. 
Several of the other Chiefs followed, and the Council finally ad- 
journed at five o'clock, without having yet made any sensible 
progress. The maxim, that ^'time is money," which prevails so 
extensively among the Anglo-Saxons, has not yet penetrated into 
the wilderness to be received as a motive in any way influencing 
the conduct. With the Indians, "the next moon" will answer 
just as well as this month, for any business that is to be transacted. 
I should think, however, that the Commissioners would have their 
patience utterly exhausted. 



28 INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA-WALLA 

Until a late hour we heard from the Indian camps the sound of 
their singing and the beating of their drums, and could see the 
figures flit before the fires as the dancing went on. 

Tuesday^ June 5th. — ^Another visit before breakfast from some 
of our Indian friends. Early this morning Lieutenant Gracie 
sent oflF an express to the Dalles to report progress. Then came 
the same routine of the Council: Governor Stevens, at the open- 
ing, gave them the most elaborate address he has yet made, ex- 
plaining to the Chiefs most definitely, what lands he wished them 
to give up, and what their "Great Father," (the President,) would 
give them in return, together with the benefits they would derive 
from the exchange. General Palmer afterwards made a speech 
an hour long, in which he endeavored to illustrate to his audience 
the many advantages resulting from their being brought into con- 
tact with civilization. His reasoning at one time led him to give 
an account of the Railroad and Telegraph. It was sufficiently 
amusing to listen to this scientific lecture, (as Julian Avenel says 
of Warden's homily in The Monasteryy) "quaintly conceived and 
curiously pronounced, and to a well chosen congregation;" but it 
probably would have been much more diverting, could we have 
known the precise impressions left upon the minds of his audience, 
or, have heard them talk it over afterwards in their lodges. After 
he had finished, Stechus, an old Cayuse Chief, made a short speech, 
and then Governor Stevens adjourned them until to-morrow. 

There is evidently a more hostile feeling towards the whites 
gettmg up among some of the tribes, of which we had to-night a 
very unmistakable proof. The Cayuses, we have known, have 
never been friendly, but hitherto they have disguised their feelings. 
To-night, as Lieutenant Gracie and I attempted, as usual, to enter 
their camp, they showed a decided opposition: we were motioned 
back, and the young warriors threw themselves in our way to ob- 
struct our advance. To yield to this, however, or to show any 
signs of being intimidated, would have been ruinous with the In- 

206 



INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA 29 

dians, so we were obliged to carry out our original intentions. We 
placed our horses abreast, riding round the Indians, where it was 
possible, and at other times forcing our way through, believing 
that they would not dare to resort to actual violence. If, however, 
this hostile feeling at the Council increases, how long will it be be- 
fore we have an actual outbreak ? 

Wednesday^ June 6th. — ^To-day the Indians again determined 
not to meet in Council, as they wished to consult among them- 
selves: so there is another day lost. After my ride up the valley 
to the Mission, I found on my return to dinner, an old trapper and 
Indian trader had come in to visit us, and was to be our guest. 
We had, however, a sumptuous repast, for he brought with him a 
buffalo tongue, a great luxury on the plains, and one which any- 
where might tempt the epicure. 

The races to-night were the most exciting we have seen, as 
the Indians had bet some sixteen or eighteen blankets (a great 
stake for them!) on the result, and all the passions of their savage 
natures were called into play. There was visible none of that 
Mohawk stoicism of manner which Fenimore Cooper describes. 
After the races were finished. Lieutenant Gracie and I concluded 
to ride into the camp of our amiable friends, the Cayuses, to see 
how they felt this evening. There w^as no attempt to exclude us, 
though if savage and scowling looks could have killed, we should 
both have ended our mortal career this evening in this Valley of 
Walla-Walla. 

Thursday, June 7th. — Mr. McKay took breakfast with us. 
He is the son of the old Indian hunter so often mentioned in Irving's 
"Astoria," and whose name is identified with pioneer life in this 
region. 

The Council met to-day at twelve, when I went into the arbor, 
and taking my seat at the reporters* table, wrote some of the 
speeches delivered. There is, of course, in those of the Indians, 

207 



so INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA 

too much repetition to give them fully, but a few extracts may show 
the manner in which these wearisome debates were conducted day 
after day: 

Governor Stevens. "My brothers! we expect to have your 
hearts to-day. Let us have your hearts straight out.'* 

Lawyer, the old Nez Perce Chief, The first part of his 
speech was historical, relating the discovery of this country by 
the Spaniards, which is a favorite topic with the Indian orators. In 
the course of it, he thus narrated the story of Columbus and the 
egg, which he had heard from some of the missionaries. 

"One of the head of the court said, *1 knew there was such a 
coimtry.' Columbus, who had discovered it, said, *Can you make 
an egg stand on its end?' He tried to make the egg stand, but 
could not do it. He did not understand how. It fell over. Co- 
lumbus then showed them all that he could make it stand. He 
set it down and it stood. He knew how, and after they saw it 
done, they could all do it." 

He thus described the manner in which the tribes at the East 
receded at the approach of the whites: 

"The red men traveled away farther, and from that time they 
kept traveling away farther, as the white people came up with 
them. And this man's people,'' (pointing to a Delaware Indian, 
who was one of the interpreters,) "are from that people. They 
have come on from the Great Lake where the sun rises, until they 
are near to us now, at the setting sun. And from that coimtry, 
somewhere from the centre, came Lewis and Clarke, and that is 
the way the white people traveled and came on here to my fore- 
fathers. They passed through our country, they became acquain- 
ted with our country and all our streams, and our forefathers used 
them well, as well as they could, and from the time of Columbus, 
from the time of Lewis and Clarke, we have known you, my friends; 
we poor people have known you as brothers." 

208 



INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA-WALLA SI 

He concluded by expressing his approval of the treaty, only 
urging that the whites should act towards them in good faith. 

Governor Stevens. "We have now the hearts of the Nez 
Perces through their Chief. Their hearts and our hearts are one. 
We want the hearts of the other tribes through their Chiefs.'" 

Young Chief, of the Cayuses. He was evidently opposed 
to the treaty, but grounded his objections on two arguments. The 
first was, they had no right to sell the groimd which God had given 
for their support, unless for good reasons. 

"I wonder if the ground has anything to say? I wonder if 
the ground would come alive and what is on it? Though I hear 
what the groimd says. The groimd says, *It is the Great Spirit 
that placed me here. The Great Spirit tells me to take care of 
the Indians, to feed them aright. The Great Spirit appointed 
the roots to feed the Indians on. The water says the same thing. 
The Great Spirit directs me, Feed the Indians well. The grass 
says the same thing. Feed the horses and cattle. The groimd, 
water and grass say. The Great Spirit has given us our names. 
We have these names and hold these names. Neither the Indians 
nor the Whites have a right to change these names. The ground 
says, The Great Spirit has placed me here to produce all that 
grows on me, trees and fruit. The same way the ground says, It 
was from me man was made. The Great Spirit, in placing men on 
the earth, desired them to take good care of the groimd and to do 
each other no harm. The Great Spirit said. You Indians who take 
care of certain portions of the country should not trade it oflf except 
you get a fair price.." 

The other argument was, that he could not understand clearly 
what they were to receive: 

"The Indians are blind. This is the reason we do not see the 
country well. Lawyer sees clear. This is the reason why I don't 
know anything about this country. I do not see the offer you have 

200 



S2 INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA 

made to us yet. If I had the money in my hand I should see. I 
am» as it were, blind. I am blind and ignorant. I have a heart, 
but cannot say much. This is the reason why the Chiefs do not 
understand each other right, and stand apart. Although I see 
your oflfer before me, I do not understand it and I do not yet take 
it. I walk as it were in the dark, and cannot therefore take hold 
of what I do not see. Lawyer sees and he takes hold. When I 
come to understand your propositions, I will take hold. I do not 
know when. This is all I have to say.** 

Five Crows, of the Walla-Wallas. "I will speak a few 
words. My heart is just the same as the Young Chief's." 

General Palmer. "We know no Chief among the Walla- 
Wallas but Peepe-mox-mox. If he has anything to say, we will 
be pleased to hear it." 

Peepe-mox-mox. "I do not know what is straight. I do 
not see the oflfer you have made to the Indians. I never saw these 
things which are oflfered by my Great Father. My heart cried 
when you first spoke to me. 1 felt as if I was blown away like a 
feather. Let your heart be, to separate as we now are and appoint 
some other time. We shall have no bad minds. Stop the whites 
from coming up here until we have this talk. Let them not bring 
their axes with them. The whites may travel in all directions 
through our country, we will have nothing to say to them, pro- 
vided they do not build houses on our lands. Now I wish to speak 
about Lawyer. I think he has given his land. That is what I 
think from his words. I request another meeting. It is not in 
one meeting only that we can come to a decision. If you come 
again with a friendly message from our Great Father, I shall see 
you again at this place. To-morrow I shall see you again, and to- 
morrow evening I shall go home. This is all I have to say." 

General Palmer. "I want to say a few words to these 

people. But before I do so, if Camiaken wants to speak, I will be 

glad to hear him." 

210 



INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA 88 

Camaiken, Yakima Chief. '"I have nothing to say." 

General Palmer. **I would enquire whether Peepe-mox- 
mox or Young Chief has spoken for the Umatillas? I would wish 
to know farther, whether the Umatillas are of the same heart?" 

OwHi, Umatilla Chief. "We are talking together, and the 
Great Spirit hears all that we say to^ay. The Great Spirit gave 
us the land and measured the land to us. This is the reason I am 
afraid to say any thing about this land. I am afraid of the laws 
oi the Great Spirit. This is the reason of my heart being sad. 
This is the reason I cannot give you an answer. I am afraid of 
the Great Spirit. Shall I steal this land and sell it? or, what shall 
I do? This is the reason why my heart is sad. The Great Spirit 
made our friends, but the Great Spirit made our bodies from the 
earth, as if they were different from the whites. What shall I do? 
Shall I give the land which is a paxt of my body and leave myself 
poor and destitute? Shall I say, I will give you my land? I can* 
not say so. I am afraid of the Great Spirit. I love my life. The 
reason why I do not give my land away is, I am afraid I shall be 
sent to hell. I love my friends. I love my life. This is the reason 
why I do not give my land away. I have one word more to say. 
My people are far away. They do not know your words. This 
is the reason I cannot give you an answer. I show you my heart. 
This is all I have to say." 

Governor Stevens. ''How will Camiaken or Schoom 
speak?" 

Camaiken. ''What have I to be talking about?'' 

General Palmer. "We have listened and heard our Chiefs 
speak. The hearts of the Nez Percys and ours are one. The 
Cayuses, the Walla-Wallas, and the other tribes, say, they do not 
understand us. We were in hopes we should have had but one 
heart. Why should we have more than one heart? Young 
Chief says, he does not know what we propose to him. Peepe-mox* 

211 



84 INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA-WALLA 

mox says the same. Can we bring these saw mills and these grist 
mills on our backs to show these people? Can we bring these 
blacksmith shops, these wagons and tents on our backs to show 
them at this time? Can we cause fields of wheat and com to spring 
up in a day that they may see them? Can we build these school 
houses and these dwellings in a day? Can we bring all the money 
that these things will cost, that they may see it? It would be more 
than all the horses of any one of these tribes could carry. It takes 
time to do these things. We come first to see you and make a 
bargain. We brought but a few goods with us. But whatever 
we promise to give you, you will get. 

"How long will these people remain blind? We come to try 
and open their eyes. They refuse the light. I have a wife and 
children. My brother here has the same. I have a good house, 
fields of wheat, potatoes and peas. Why should I leave them and 
come so far to see you? It was to try and do you good, but you 
throw it away. Why is it that you do so? We all sometimes do 
wrong. Sometimes because our hearts are bad, and sometimes 
because we have bad coimsel. Your people have sometimes done 
wrong. Our hearts have cried. Our hearts still cry. But if you 
will try to do right, we will try to forget it. How long will you 
listen to this bad counsel and refuse to receive the light? 

^^I, too, like the ground where I was born. I left it because 
it was for my good. I have come a long way. We ask you to go 
but a short distance. We do not come to steal your land. We 
pay you more than it is worth. There is the Umatilla Valley that 
affords a little good land. Between the two streams and all aroimd 
it, is a parched up plain. What is it worth to you, and what is it 
worth to us? Not half what we have offered you for it. Why do 
we offer you so much? Because our Great Father has told us to 
take care of his red people. We come to you with his message, to 
try and do you good,'* &c., &c. 



INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA-WALLA 85 

These extracts will give a specimen of the kind of "talk" 
which went on day after day. /AH but the Nez Perces were evi- 
dently disinclined to the treaty, and it was melancholy to see their 
reluctance to abandon the old hunting groimds of their fathers and 
their impotent struggles against the overpowering influence of 
the whites. The meeting to-day closed with an effective speech 
by GovenRJr Stevens, addressed to the Chiefs who had argued 
against the treaty. I give a part of it: — 

"I must say a few words. My brother and I have talked 
straight. Have all of you talked straight? Lawyer has, and his 
people have, and their business will be finished to-morrow. Yoimg 
Chief says, he is blind and does not understand. What is it that 
he wants? Steckus says, his heart is in one of three places — ^the 
Grand Rond, the Toucher, and the Two CafLon. Where is the 
heart of the Young Chief ? Peepe-mox-mox cannot be wafted off 
like a feather. Does he prefer the Yakima to the Nez Perc6 
Reservation? We have asked him before. We ask him now. 
Where is his heart? Camiaken, the Great Chief of the Yakimas, 
has not spoken at all. His people have had no voice here to-day. 
He is not ashamed to speak? He is not afraid to speak? Then, 
speak out. Owhi is afraid lest God be angry at his selling his 
land. Owhi, my brother ! I do not think God will be angry if 
you do your best for yourself and your children. Ask yourself 
this question to-night. Will not God be angry with me if I neglect 
this opportunity to do them good? But Owhi says, his people are 
not here. Why then did he tell us, Come, hear our talk? I do 
not want to be ashamed of him. Owhi has the heart of his people. 
We expect him to speak out. We expect to hear from Camiaken 
and from Schoom. The treaty we will have drawn up to-night. 
You can see it to-morrow. The Nez Percys must not be put off 
any longer. This business must be despatched. I hope that all 
the other hearts and our hearts will agree. They have asked us 
to speak straight. We have spoken straight. We have asked you 
to speak straight, but have yet to hear from you." 

£18 



36 INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA 

The Council did not adjourn till six o'clock. In the evening 
I rode over as usual to the Nez Perc6 camp and found many of 
them playing cards in their lodges. They are most inveterate 
gamblers, and a warrior will sometimes stake on successive games, 
his arms, and horses, and even his wives, so that in a single night 
he is reduced to a state of primitive poverty and obliged to trust 
to charity to be remounted for the hunt. 

In the other camps everything seemed to be in a violent com- 
motion. The Cayuses and other tribes are very much incensed 
against the Nez Percys for agreeing to the terms of the treaty, but 
fortunately for them, and probably for us also, the Nez Percys are 
as numerous as the others united. 

Friday y June 8th. — ^As the Council does not open until noon, our 
mornings pass in the same way. Lieutenant Gracie and I practise 
pistol shooting, read, and ride about the country, visiting Governor 
Stevens' party and at the Mission. 

To-day it was nearly three o'clock before they met. After 
a few remarks by Governor Stevens, General Palmer made a long 
speech addressed to those Chiefs who refused yesterday to accede 
to the treaty. He told them, as they do not wish to go on the 
Nez Percys Reservation, (the tribes never having been very friendly 
to each other,) he would offer them another Reservation, which 
would embrace parts of the lands on which they were now living. 
After this offer had been clearly explained to them and considered, 
all acceded to it, with the exception of one tribe, the Yakimas. 

It seemed as if we were getting on charmingly and the end of 
all difficulties was at hand, when suddenly a new explosive ele- 
ment dropped down into this little political caldron. Just before 
the Council adjourned, an Indian runner arrived with the news 
that Looking Glass, the war-chief of the Nez Percys was coming. 
Half an hour afterwards, he, with another chief and about twenty 
warriors, came in. They had just returned from an incursion into 

214 



INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA-WALLA 87 

the Blackfoot country, where there had been some fighting and 
they had brought back with them, as a trophy, one scalp, which 
was dangling from a pole. Governor Stevens and General Palmer 
went out to meet tliem and mutual introductions were made, 
/liking Glass then, without dismounting from his horse, made a 
short and very violent speech, which I afterwards learned was, as 
I suspected, an expression of his indignation at their selling the 
coimtry. The Council then adjourned. 

At the races this evening in the Nez Perc^ camp, we found ten 
of the yoimg braves who came in that afternoon, basking in the 
enjoyment of their laurels. Dressed in buffalo skins, painted and 
decorated in the most fantastic style, they stood in a line on one 
side of the race ground, exhibiting themselves as much as possible 
and singing songs in honor of their exploits. After the races we 
rode through the Cayuse camp. They seemed to be in commotion, 
apparently making preparation to depart. 

Saturday^ June 9th. — This morning the old Chief Lawyer, 
came down and took breakfast with us. The Coimcil did not meet 
till three o'clock and matters seem now to have reached a crisis. 
The treaty must either be soon accepted or the tribes will separate 
in hopeless bad feeling. On the strength of the assent yesterday 
given by all the tribes, except the Yakimas, the papers were drawn 
up and brought into the Coimcil to be signed by the principal 
Chiefs. Governor Stevens once more — for Looking Glass' benefit 
-^xplamed the principal points in the treaty, and among other 
things told them, there would be three Reservations, — ^the Cayuses, 
the Walla-Wallas and Umatillas to be placed upon one — the Ne« 
Percys on another — and the Yakimas on the third, and that they 
were not to be removed to these Reservations for two or three 
years. 

Looking Glass then arose and made a strong speech against 
the treaty, which had such an effect, that not only the Nez Percys 
but all the other tribes refused to sign it. Looking Glass, although 

215 



88 INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA 

nominally only the second Chief, has more influence than Lawyer 
and is in reality the Chief of the diflferent Nez Perc6 tribes. Gov- 
ernor Stevens and General Palmer made several speeches to induce 
him to change his decision, for should he do so, the other Chiefs 
would follow his example; but in vain, andlthe Council was obliged 
to adjourn until Monday. In the mean while, it is supposed that 
the Commissioners will bring some cogent arguments to bear upon 
Looking Glass and induce him to accede to the treaty. 

Near the race groimd this evening we found the women col- 
lected in circles on the ground, gambling with the most intense 
earnestness. Like the men they will spend hours around the lodge 
fires, staking every thing they have on the changes and chances of 
the game. Near them stood, as on the last evening, the returned 
warriors, exhibiting their fantastic bravery, and apparently thus 
challenging the applause of the softer sex. 

We supposed yesterday that we should have started this 
evening for the Umatilla, but the prospect now is that we shall be 
delayed several days longer. 

Sunday f June 10th. — ^We imderstand there has been great ex- 
citement through the Indian camps to-day. The Nez Percys have 
been all day long holding a coimcil among themselves, and it is 
represented, the proposition has been made to appoint Looking 
Glass head Chief over Lawyer. Yesterday, while Looking Glass 
was speaking, Lawyer left the Council without saying anything; 
which many of them are disposed to regard as the surrender of his 
place. Should this proposition be carried into effect, it would give 
a quietus to the treaty. 

Monday t June 11th. — Before breakfast we had a visit from 
Lawyer with some other Indians. ^A.t ten o'clock the Council 
met. Governor Stevens opened it with a short speech, at the close 
of which he asked the Chiefs to come forward and sign the papers. 
This they all did without the least opposition. What he has been 

£16 



INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA 89 

doing with Looking Glass since last Saturday, we cannot imagine, 
but we suppose savage nature in the wilderness is the same as 
dvilized nature was in England in Walpole's day, and "every man 
has his price/' After this was over, the presents which General 
Palmer had brought with him were distributed, and the Council, 
like other Legislative bodies, adjourned sine die. 

As soon as this business was finished, we at once struck our 
tents and began our march towards the Umatilla. On our way» 
Lieutenant Gracie and I made our parting visit at the Mission, 
and then proceeded about fifteen miles before we encamped for 
the night. Just as we were starting, an express arrived from the 
Dalles, bringing us in letters and papers. 

^ We have now ended our connection with the Council and bid 
adieu to our Indian friends. It is therefore an appropriate place 
to say, that We subsequently discovered we had been all the while 
imconsdously treading on a mine. Some of the friendly Indians 
afterwards disclosed to the traders, that during the whole meeting 
of the Council, active negotiations were on foot to cut oflf the 
whites. This plot originated with the Cayuses, in their indignation 
at the prospect of being deprived of their lands. Their programme 
was, first to massacre the esic^ort, which could easily have been done. 
Fifty soldiers against three thousand Indian warriors, out on the 
open plain, made rather too great odds. We should have had time, 
like Lieutenant Grattan* at Fort Laramie, last season, to have de- 
livered one fire and then the contest would have been over. Their 
next move was, to surprise the post at the Dalles, which they could 
also easily have done, as most of the troops were withdrawn, and 
the Indians in the neighborhood had recently united with them. 
This would have been the beginning of their war of extermination 
upon the settlers. The only thing which prevented the execution 
of this scheme was, the refusal of the Nez Percys to accede to it, 

*Brevet Second Lieutenant John Lawrence Grattan, Sixth Infantry, was killed, with all 
his party, by the Siouz Indians, in what is known as the "Giattan Massacre," near Fort 
Laramie, Neb., August 19, 1854. — Ed. 

217 



40 INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA 

and as they were more powerful than the others united, it was im- 
possible to make this outbreak without their concurrence. C(A- 
stant negotiations were going on between the tribes, but without 
effect, nor was it discovered by the whites until after the Council 
had separated. 

Tuesday y June 12th. — ^We were up bright and early this morn- 
ing, expecting by sunrise to have been on our march. But some 
of the horses had strayed away during the night and it was eight 
o'clock before they could be all collected to enable us to set out. 
After riding thirty miles we reached the Umatilla. Here we found 
a sergeant of the 4th Infantry and five men encamped, who had 
been sent to meet us with provisions. Just then a pouring rain 
began, and we were glad to make our preparations for the night. 

Wednesday J June 13th. — ^I awoke to find it still raining in tor- 
rents and the wind blowing a beautiful accompaniment, as it 
swept through the trees which line the banks of the river. For- 
tunately the sergeant had brought with him a tent, which was 
turned over to us, and we remained tolerably comfortable. In 
the midst of the storm, however, a visitor arrived. He was a Mr. 
Whitney, who is living about a mile from our encampment, with 
Mr. McKay, on a claim he is cultivating, belonging to the latter. 
He invited Lieutenant Gracie and myself to take tea with him. 
About three o'clock it cleared up and we rode over to his residence, 
where for the first time in several weeks we had the satisfaction of 
seeing some thing which looked like domestic comfort. Mr. 
Whitney had his wife and child with him, and he took us over his 
garden and showed us his crops. At six o'clock we had tea, after 
the manner of civilized people, which was a great luxury to us after 
our camp fare in the wilderness. 

Just as we were bidding good night, three of our acquaintances 
arrived from the Council ground on their way to the Dalles. We 
learned from them that the Indians celebrated a great Scalp Dance 
the night before, in which one himdred and fifty of the women 

£18 



INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA-WALLA 41 

took part. The tribes then broke up their lodges and returned to 
their own hunting grounds. 

Thursday y June Hth. — The place where we now are is an old 
camping ground, well known to all the Western hunters, being a 
central spot where several trails diverge. The emigrant trail 
passes by it, and stretches thence over the Blue Mountains, leading 
to Fort Bois6. Here Lieutenant Gracie has orders to remain until 
the arrival of the rest of the Command, which starts from the Dalles 
on the twentieth, to enter the Snake country. He has been, there- 
fore, making arrangements to-day for a more permanent encamp- 
ment, as he may be delayed here for a couple of weeks. The 
tents have been regularly arranged, our own a little in advance, 
and those of the men built of boughs and pack covers, so as to pro- 
tect them from the weather. A log house has been erected at one 
end of the camp, to hold the provisions, and to-day the men have 
been employed in constructing a corral^ or enclosure, in the Cali- 
fornia style, to secure the horses. 

This evening our Indian guide came in. He had been left 
at the Council ground to hunt up some stray horses. 

Friday^ June 15th. — ^Early this morning Lieutenant Gracie 
sent ofiF the Indian guide to the Dalles, as he had no further use 
for him. Mr. Cut-mouth John has apparently served us faith- 
fully, though being a Cayuse, we cannot tell how deeply he has 
been implicated in the plottings of his countrymen this summer, 
or what part he would have taken, had their projected outbreak 
ripened into action. 

To-day Lieutenant Gracie began to have his drills for the 
men, one before breakfast and the other after supper. At the 
early drill they are exercised in shooting at a target. This even- 
ing, at Mr. McKay's, we met the old Chief, Stechus, who had 
stopped there on an expedition after some missing cattle. He 
seemed quite pleased to see us. While there. General Palmer and 
his party also arrived from the Council ground. 

219 



42 INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA 

Saturday, June 16th. — ^After drill we rode over to Mr. McKay's 
and found G^ieral Palmer's party still encamped there, as he was 
taken ill this morning. He probably needs rest both of body and 
mind^ and on the plains, this is the great prescription, as the rem- 
edies which the hunters can give are comprised in a list of very few 
simples. Nature is generally expected to perform the cure. Had 
his illness come on at the Council, he could have had the "medi- 
cine men" of our friends, the Nez Percys, to prescribe for him. 
Their prescriptions, however, are always the same, whatever may 
be the disease, whether ague or fever, or small pox. The patient 
is shut up in a small close lodge, called a "sweating house,*' where 
he is subjected, until almost stifled, to a vapor bath produced by 
water slowly poured on red hot stones. 

Sunday, June IJih. — ^My last Sunday on the plains, and it 
passed quietly enough. After Lieutenant Gracie had finished 
inspection and we had taken our usual bath in the river, we rode 
over to General Palmer's encampment to enquire after his health. 
We found him still too unwell to travel. The rest of the day was 
spent in reading, for we have found a small supply of books at 
Mr. McKay's, which have proven quite a treasure in the wilderness. 

Monday, June 18th. — Lieutenant Gracie has commenced 
practising the men at skirmish drill for an hour a day, and is thus 
preparing them for their Snake country expedition. It has be- 
come too hot, except in the morning and evening, to move about 
with comfort, and after the drill, our ride over to Mr. McKay's 
and our bath in the Umatilla, we are content to spend the remain- 
der of the day in lounging and reading under the shelter of our 
tent. In an encampment on the plains, during the dead silence 
of a sultry noon, with no conventional restraints of civilization 
about us, we realize more fully than in any other place, the truth 
of the Neapolitan maxim — Dolce far niente. 

We had to-day a visit from five of the Cayuse Indians, two 
of whom had been accustomed to visit us at Walla- Walla. 

220 



INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA 48 

Tuesday^ June 19th. — Before we were up we had an arrival 
of another party of the Cayuse tribe. Their lodges are in a valley 
about eight miles from the camp. They smoked the "pipe of 
peace" and probably this time with sincerity, as they knew we 
had force enough with us to defeat any attempt they might make. 
The principal Chief of the Umatillas also came into our camp and 
some strange Indians whom we had never before seen. 

As Lieutenant Gracie is obliged to remain at this camping 
ground, and it may be some days before the command arrives 
from the Dalles, I have determined myself to proceed on to that 
post to-morrow in company with Mr. McKay. I therefore this 
evening rode over to his place and made my arrangements for 
setting ofiF the next morning. 

Wednesday, June 20th. — This morning a messenger arrived 
from the Dalles with papers and the latest news — ^the latter having 
been almost forgotten by this time in the settlements. 

After early drill I took my final leave of the camp. Lieu- 
tenant Gracie rode with me over to Mr. McKay's, where I left my 
horse, as he belonged to the command, transferring my saddle and 
bridle to one of Mr. McKay's, which I am to ride. And here 
Lieutenant Gracie and I parted. We have been companions for 
weeks by day and night, and in this his first independent command* 
(in many incidents which I could not relate in this brief journal,) 
he has established, with those at the Council who were accustomed 
to military expeditions in the Lidian country, a character for de- 
cision and energy which gives the promise of distinction in much 
wider and more responsible scenes of action in the future. 

We set ofiF about half-past nine o'clock. Mr. McKay and my- 
self, with two boys whose business was to drive the pack mules. 
Our traveling arrangements were made in the old Spanish-Cali- 
fornia style, still common in those parts of the country where 

221 



44 INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA-WALLA 

horses are plenty. Besides those we rode, were seven or eight 
which ran loose and were driven by the boys, to be used when our 
own began to flag. 

We crossed the Umatilla at once, and on the opposite side 
striking the trail on which we had gone into the interior, com- 
menced (Mir return westward. After riding for about twenty 
miles we reached the Indian Agency. Here, two of the other 
horses were caught, our saddles and bridles transferred to them, 
and the tired ones turned loose to follow with the rest. Then, on 
we went until five in the evening when we encamped for the night 
at Wells' Springs, having traveled during the day fifty-five miles. 

Thursday^ June Slst. — We were on our way this morning by 
five o'clock. On the trail we passed every little while solitary 
graves, the last resting places of some unfortunate emigrants. 
The road from Missouri to the Rocky Mountains can almost be 
traced by these sad memorials, and no human language can conv^ 
an idea of the sorrow and suffering which has taken place on the 
plains, caused by this rush to the land of gold. About ten miles 
on our way we met a portion of the 4th Infantry and Sd Artillery 
under Lieutenants Day, Hodges and Mendell. At noon we 
halted at Willow Creek, (seventeen miles from Wells' Springs,) 
for several hours, to rest our horses. We then pushed on until 
eight in the evening, when we reached John Day's River, where 
a refreshing bath recompensed us for our long and hot ride. We 
had ridden to-day about forty-five miles. 

Friday^ June 22d. — ^We left John Day's River about seven 
o'clock, and after riding twelve miles, met Major Haller, (Com- 
mander of the expedition,) and Captain Russell, 4th Infantry, 
with their escort, with whom we stopped for a short time. Soon 
afterwards we met another detachment of troops, with two or 
three wagons, each drawn by six mules. About noon we struck 
the Columbia River, whose solitary banks were quite enlivened by 

«22 



INDIAN COUNCIL AT THE WALLA- WALLA 45 

the long trains of wagons containing the provisions of the detach- 
ment. We counted twenty-four, half of which were on one side of 
the river and half on the other. The different detachments and 
wagons will all meet at the camping ground on the Umatilla where 
we left Lieutenant Gracie. There will be about one hundred and 
fifty mounted men besides the packers and wagoners. After 
resting for a couple of hours on the Columbia, we set out for the 
Dalles, where we arrived at five o'clock. Here we found Lieu- 
tenant Dryer, who is to set out to-morrow morning and join the 
command as Quarter Master. 

And thus ended my expedition into the wilderness. It has 
shown me the rough side of army life, and yet the time has passed 
pleasantly from the very novelty and freshness of everything. And 
now, amid all the refinements of civilization, I cannot but look 
back with something like regret to the freedom of our little camp 
on the quiet plains, where no sound was heard to break our slumber, 
but the steady tread of our sentinel or the rippling of the 
Umatilla. 



FINIS 



as 



I 



I 

I 



1 



y 



k 




,' V\ ^ n-L l'^- 



THE 



MAGAZINE OF HISTORY 



WITH 



NOTES AND QUERIES 



Extra Number — ISo. 4fl 



THE TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN ... - Hiram D. Torrib 
LINCOLN AS A STORY TELLER - . . ... William C. Church 

THE ASSASSINATION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN - Rev. Newman Hall, LL, B. 






V 



WILLIAM ABBATT 

TARRYTOWN NEW YORK 

1915 



THE 

TRAGEDY 



OF 



ABRAHAM LINCOLN 



IN FIVE ACTS 



BY 



AN AMERICAN ARTIST 



HIRAM D. TORRIE 



Seme eniBhing actions in our life-time strike 

Too rudely on the heart's o*er-burden'd strings, 

To let thro' words, its aching music forth; 

Thus strangely out of tune my heart-strings speak.— Lincoln 



GLASGOW: 
PUBLISHED BY JAMES BROWN k SON 

MDCCCLXXVI 



TARRYTOWN 
NEW YORK 

BBPBINTBD 

WILLIAM ABBATT 
1915 
Being Extra No. 40 of Thb Maoasinb or Hibtobt with Notbs and Qubbibs 



RES ABDUA rmtxjwm noyitatuii* dabs; notis auctobitatbm; obsolstu. mroBm; 
OBSCUBXS» LVCBM; FASTIDITIS, OBATXCUM; DUBIU, flDBM; OKNIBCTB TBBO HATUBAV, BV 
IIATUBAL SUA OMBIA. 

ItAQUB BTIAM HON ABSBCUTU, VOLUI88B ABUNDB PULCHBTTM tlTQUB KAGNinCUM BBT* 

(It is B difficult thing to give newness to old things, authority to new things* beauty U» 
things out of use, fame to the obscure, favor to the hateful (or ugly), credit to the doubtfvU 
nature to all and all to nature. To such, nevertheless as cannot attain to all theses it in 
greatly oommendable and magnifioial to have attempted the same. 

PuiTT, — ^preface to his Natural HiHoqf^, 



i 



I 



EDITOR'S PREFACE 

THE 'Tragedy o! Abraham Lincoln" is the third of the 
Lincoki plays which we have published (see Extra No. 34 
for the full list), and, like the rest, is of extreme rarity. 
We are indebted to Mr. Judd Stewart for the opportunity of 
furnishing it to our subscribers. The author was Henry (or 
Hiram) D. Torrie, who at the time was living in Glasgow. 

We regret having been unable to obtain any particulars 
about him. 

The article by Colonel Church, the veteran Editor of the 
Army and Navy Journal^ is a very scarce item. Its only ap- 
pearance was in the little paper published in aid of the fair for 
the Building Fund of the Seventh Regiment Armory, in New 
York, in 1871; and but few persons know of its existence. 

The third article is by one of the best friends of our Union 
<luring the dark days of 1861-65: the celebrated Newman Hall, 
pastor of Rowland Hill's Chapel, London; and like our other 
items is much sought for by Lincoln collectors. 



. I 



INTRODUCTION 



IT is doubtful if history has ever given a more striking subject to 
the tragic muse» than the assassination of the noble Lincoln; 
yet a play only depicting the incidents surrounding or as* 
*90ciated with his death, would fail in giving the great lessons that 
such a life as his imparts. As it is no less doubtful if many lives 
have furnished greater contrasts, or more striking incidents for 
dramatic effort than his — leading from the rude prairie cabin to 
the Presidency of the United States, probably at the time of their 
most perilous vitality — the author endeavours in this play to por- 
tray selections from the startling events, crowding such a stride 
from comparative obscurity to undying fame and violent death; 
plot and poetry have been kept mostly subordinate to facts, though 
some license has been taken with names, dates, &c. To give con- 
tinuity and harmonious unity, some characters have been made to 
take the parts of others who, if introduced, would too greatly ex- 
tend the Dramatis Persona; still it is affirmed that no play built 
upon reality ever adhered more closely to real transaction than 
does the effort now offered. 

As in adhering closely to Mr. Lincoln's life, the author found 
it impossible to carry the early associates of his penury and poverty 
on into the society and exalted position finally secured him by his 
exceptional talents, the characters of some, who might otherwise 
be entitled to appear, have been blended in those of others made to 
figure throughout the piece. We may add that several are so 
united in John Hanks, thought necessary by the author to con- 
tinue on until the final destruction of Mr. Lincoln's assassin. 
Kind, affectionate, even tender as our subject ever was, still very 
little of the romance of stage love can accord with the strong points 



9 INTRODUCTION 

in his career, and, so far as introduced, is aimed to give the char* 
acter of the man, and the frontier life in which he was such a hero. 
Sorry that he is not worthy to treat the great subject in the spirit 
it so eminently deserves, the Author, in presenting his weak effort, 
would say to the public, be as charitable as you can. 

*The aathor gained many facU from this early ataodate of Mr. Linooln, never ebewhere 



TO THE READER 



THE poem which I have the presumption to offer was com- 
menced soon after the death of Mr. Lincoln/ mider the fol- 
lowing circmnstances : Mr. N. K. Richardson, a noted public 
reader in Philadelphia, honoiured me by including selections from 
several patriotic and other poems of mine in various programmes 
recited by him during the rebellion. Upon one occasion, having 
so given one entitled '^The Death of Lincoln," an auditor came and 
complimented me still further by urging me to undertake a tragedy 
founded upon the lamented President. I stated then the con- 
viction of my inability to do so, and though feeling impelled to 
make the attempt, and every endeavour to learn the marked points 
in the life of such a man, I have realized since more and more my 
incapacity to grasp so lofty a theme. The play had been well 
started, and anticipated in the States whilst everything was fresh, 
some of the striking points particularly, after a long interview with 
Mr. Lincoln's old companion and friend, the now celebrated John 
Hanks. Though completed in this country some years ago, it was 
thought hardly fit or proper to introduce it on the stage, particu- 
larly the American; but some three years since I was induced by 
parties who had perused it to submit it to the judgment of the 
lamented Harcourt Beatty-Bland, who suggested its early adap- 
tation for the stage. I may not state here — although it is well 
known to some — all the praise he kindly bestowed upon it, as it 
might be thought egotistical; suffice it to say that he requested a 
second perusal, and stated among other things, in giving back the 
manuscriptji that if I had presented my subject correctly he did not 

^Probably Locke Richardson.— (Ed.] 



8 TO THE READER 

tUnk a better one than the noble Lincoln, for a stage tragedy, had 
ever lived and died. 

I need not repeat more of his words, but to his kind opinion and 
that of another, long and favourably known in connection with the 
Theatre-Royal, and other theatres of this town, rather than my 
own, you will considerately attribute the publicity here given to 
it, imperfect as it is. 

Thx Author 



DRAMATIS PERSON-® 



ABBAHAM LINCOLN, Pbbsxdbmt of U. S. A. 



JOHN HANKS, afterwuds PEABSLY. 

PBESmENTS SECRETARY. 

€EN. U. S. GRANT. 

W. H. SEWARD. 

H. GREELEY. 

E. M. STANTON. 

SIMON CAMERON. 

B. F. BIJTLER. 

€HAS. SUMNER. 

Caff, afterwaida Col. STODDARD. 

JupoK MAYBERRY. 

Mb. TODD. 

C0L.GOODALL. 

Mb. ARMSTRONG. 

Mb. HANSOM. 

BLACK BOB. 



Sottthbbn CmzBNB, Railroad 
Mbn, and Nkwsbots. 



YOUNG ARMSTRONG. 

WILLIE BROWNLEY. 

BOOTH, PrincqMd Assasum. 

WD WING, Indian. 

Cob RANSOM. 

Mas TODD, afterwaida Mbs. LINCOLN. 

Mbs. ARMSTRONG. 

Mbs. BROWNLEY. 

Msssxs SUSAN and SARAH 

MAYBERRY. 
SUSANNAH STUBBS. 
ELLA FINDLEY. 



Uhpibks, HuNTiiBs, Wbkstlbbb, 
RtTNNBBs, Politicians and Jnooas, 
SoLDiKBS, Skbtants, etc., A aa A SS IN B, 
Knights, and men of "Thb Golobn 
Cibclb." 



1 



t 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 



w 
r 



Act I. — ^ScENE I 
Forest and Prairie with Log-Cabin 

John Hanks (splitting rails). — ^It may be rite, this thrumin' 
over books, 
This toilin' over sheets, whar type an' ink hev lef thar black- 

enM tracs to puzzle brains. 
Parchance I haint suflSeient ov the last 
Tu comprehen' the nature of the fust. 
But, why a chap that stan's nigh six feet now, 
Shud load his "coon-skin'' with sich paltry stuff, 
Is mor' 'an I ken rattle thro' my mug. 
I swow tu cats I wud'nt 'low my dorg tu read 
This law stuff, fear the purp wud get the fits. 

[Lincoln is heard driving cattle. 
Thar cums the libr'y and post orfis tu! 

[Lincoln appears with a gun strapped on his hackj a hook in 
one handj and a whip in the other. 
{Hanks laughing) — ^Ha! ha! law, literatoor, an rail-splittin' 
tu! 

Lin. — So, John, my friend, you don't quite like my rig? 
You think too many guns I carry, eh? 
And may be not the ballast for my sail? 

Hanks. — ^Wall, Abe, my coon, the noshun's got about 
That lamin's kinder softnin' down yer brain. 
An' spilin' yer fur shootin', an' fur work. 

Lin. — ^I know it. Jack! and they who challenge me 
To test with theirs my strength to-day, will see; 
And if I fail — ^well. Hanks, we part this night: 

2S5 



t 

12 TRAGEDY OP ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

You'll have to break this prairie up alone! 
Two axes make more music. Jack, than one. 

[Lincoln laying aside gun, whip, etc., after apparently m- 
curing his cattle, proceeds to split rails with Hanks. 
We'll split this lot, and put the place to rights : m 

They've named the hour of four, to meet us here. | 

Hanks. — But, Abe, old chap, this trial's all for fun. 
An' when you've beat them all, they'll crown you king. 
You've nary en'my in the clearin, boss. 
Nor elswhar', less 'tis Douglas down below; 
An rival, he b jealous-like, yer know. 

Lin. — ^What, Douglas! Steve! no enemy is he; 
He's studied hard to get ahead of me. 
I often wish I had his head and brains! 

Hanks. — Yers aint so all-fired hansum, Abe, I own, 
'Twould do tho', if you'd let those books alone. 

This is my last — (stops work, looking at the rails)— yours ^ 

finishes the lot! [Picks up JsincoMs gun. 

Lin. — That's my committee on reports to-day. 
And when reported, is discharged, you know. 

Hanks.— Wall, let her du her best, fur "Sue" an' "Sal," 
An' other gals are 'spected out, I hear. 
It aint yer cut, tu hanker much for gals. 
{Aside) — ^He's got sich feelin's ater them I swow. 
As I hev got fur catamounts an' bars! 
I'll drive the cattle hum' an' cum rite back. 

[Exeunt Hanks, driving cattle. 

Lin. (faking out his book a^ain). — ^Among the lists there's 
not a lad I see, 
In all these sports, I have not beaten oft. 

(Trying to fix his mind on his book.) 
It may turn out that what Hanks says is right; . 

That these warm friends would have a little spree 
Before my duties at the store commence — 

236 



TRAGEDY OP ABRAHAM LINCOLN IS 

This selling conscience, like my goods, so much per yard. 

They now should come, I hope they'll be in time; 

I never was too late — ^they're coming now. 

I'll put this "Blackstone" up. (Hiding his book.) They'd 

laugh at me. 
[Enter Hunters, Wrestlers, Jumpers, Judges, Spectators, 

1st Hunter. — ^Well, Abraham, as father of the tribe, 
'Tis best, perhaps, to see you first on hand. 
(JLooking at the rails) — ^Have split the rails for all creation yet? 

LiN. — ^I've split enough to fence you fellows in. 
But don't intend to leave you any stakes! 

1st H. — ^First rate; it's believed, I know, that you'll take 
them. 

1st Runner. — ^If running tongues can win, you chaps stand 
well! 

[Judges^ Umpires ^ etc. 9 coming forward. 

Umpire. — ^From this small stone, and round to this here tree, 
(Pointing) — ^Who passes first, can call this purse his own. 

[Shows a purse. All prepare to run. 

Lin. — ^As I in innocence am like the lamb, 
Like him you'd have me gambol with my legs. 
Think'st thou upon a bank I'll make a run? 

Judge. — I should, perhaps, an explanation make : 
There is an object — ^noble it doth seem, 
To which each winner gives what he has won; 
And we — ^they've made me chairman of the board — 
Here pledge ourselves with those who win the sums. 
To give each farthing to the scheme at heart. 

Lin. — ^Well, since I now the object understand. 
Let me but add my mite, I'll do my best; (gives a bill which 

is taken) 
The race is short, these legs a trifle long. 

Umpire. — ^Here! all upon this line, no dodging now! 

«S7 



14 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

At the count of three each runner starts. 

There! One! Two! Three!— <<&ey aU HaH)— it's right, 

(To the Judge) — They're oflF, you see. [To Hanks, who comes up. 

What think you, if he wins will he consent? 

Hanks. — He's sure to win, we'll make him du the rest. 
The plan is good, an' he desarves it tu; 
Another way he'd never tetch a cent! 
But when he's read the resolushuns o'er, 
Our plan tu raise the spelter jist fur him. 
That he's the honest chap, an' sitch like stuff. 
He'll twist an' wriggle like a half -sucked cub! 
But see! he's comin' full a rod ahead! 
Now don't forget tu make him promise sure. 

(Loud shouts are heard as Lincoln comes in ahead.) 
Judge. — Now for the leaping, 'tis the best in three. 
So Stodard declines, we'll not shoot to-day. 
As Abr'am has scared the others, they say. 

{Proceed to jump according to stage facilities, Lincoln winning 

each and all.) 
Hanks. — (To a boy, as the Misses Susan and Sarah May- 
berry appear, with another young lady, a stranger, having 
apparently arrived on horseback.) — You groom these bosses 
while I groom the gals; 
Tu make things chime I'll try an' ring these belles. 
Is that you, Susan? ah! Miss Sarah tu! 
How's all the folks tu hum? Come this way, du. 
(To the stranger) — ^And Miss — 

(To Susan) — Sue, what's her name? you stan' right here. 
Susan (introducing). — Friend John, Miss Molly (Cousin) 
from Kentuck. 
(To lady) — ^Moll, don't blush so! now have a little pluck! 
(To Sarah) — But Sarah, see, she's got her eyes on Lincoln! 
How white she grows — ^I wonder what she's thinkin' ? 

[AU watch Miss Todd closely. 

S88 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 15 

Miss Todd (aside). — ^*Tis he; I could not well mistake that 
face. 

They say he*s ugly, coDunon, but to me 

He's coming and I will not stay the sports; 
Another time I'll make him hear my thanks. 
Susan. — (irUrodtunng) Abr'am, — our Cousin from your 
native State! 
By Papa's orders we just took a ride. 
To show our interest in the men who ran, . 
And maybe crown the victor of the games. 

Sarah. — And from the shouting as we rode along. 
The winner of the last we recognize: 
I b'lieve, all but the final feat we miss. 
(To Lin.) — They form a ring for wrestling, I suppose — 
(In sport) — ^I'll give my Cousin to the man who throws. 
Lincoln (blushing and looking to Miss Todd). — She may 
perchance have just one word to say. 
(Aside.) Did she consent I'd die or win the day! 
Why, Sallie, are your keenest sallies aimed. 
Unmeasured, poisoned, straight at bashful me? 
Like game of dice, who throws the biggest, gains; 
From oflP his pins that giant I must twist! 
And farewell now,— (Jjeaves). (Aside)— Yet for that living 

crown 
I'll struggle bravely, whether up or down. 

[Lincoln is seen to throw the best. 
Miss Todd. — Shame on you Cousin mine, to be so rude! 
And worst of all, to chafe me to the face — 

Well to his face; I'd have it least of all 

Sarah (interrupting) — Ah, ha! so, ho! you've seen that face 
before? 
Yes, yes; I see! that throw— (poiirftnjif to Lin.) — may yet win 
you. 
Hanks. — Come, Ladies! now tu see the crowning sport; 

259 



18 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

It needs sum caliker tu grace the court. 

Judge (to aU). — ^Respected citizens, my friends and all» 
Somehow it seems the honour's fell on me 
To tell you now, what you can plainly see. 
That this "rail splittin' lad'' has bagged the tin. 

[Great cheering far the rail splitter. 
The settlers on Sangamon hereabout 
Have pledged themselves! — ^I b'lieve that this is so? 

[AU answer *yesJ 
In case they won tu give up every cent. 
It seems that these won cents lump up in gold. 
Five hundred dollars handsome, in hard cash, — [Cheers. 

And I as chairman, all these dollars hold. 
But to the point, does Abr'am Lincoln now, 
Before us all, most solemnly devote 
And pledge, upon a Hoosier's* sacred word. 
Each penny to the lad I now make known? 
We'd hear him speak, don't crowd around the lad. 

Lin. — Your honour. Judge! Kind citizens and all, 
By your fires I've warmed, at your tables fed. 
You know I'm poor, as we all are at home; 
But e'er I'd touch one cent of what I've won, — 

( Hanks aside — Sot when you know the lad in just three jiffsf) 
I'd disavow my kindred and my kind. 
But bring the lad, I'd see him — ^take the cash! 

Hanks {Rubbing his hands and dancing about). — It's rich, 
too rich! 
I swow tu cats, it's good! 

Lincoln (to Hanks^ smiling). — ^If you're the honest chap, 
why, step right up! 

Judge (piving Lincoln a paper and motioning to Hanks. — 
You'll see him now, just read that when you've time. 
{To all) — You've seen the contest, friends — ^the thing is fair? — 

[All exclaim *^It is.** 

*The author wm evidently not familiar with our State sobriqueU: "Hooaier" belongs 
to Indiana, not to Illinois, which is the "Sucker" state.»[£D.] 

240 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 17 

I now commission Hanks to take this purse, 

(XAncoln is overjoyed.) 
And place it safely in friend Lincoln's hand. 
(jLincoln is vtterly overcomi^ as Hanks^ hugging him with de- 

light, exclaims: 
Hanks. — ^Wall, Hoss! what think you of this honest chap? 
[Cheering and great excitement; Hanks crowds the purse into 

Lincoln's pocket. 
Lin. — Some crushing actions in our life-time strike 
Too rudely on the heart's o'er-burdened strings, 
To let thro' words, its aching music forth; 
Thus strangely out of tune, my heart-strings speak. 
You say I've won the prizes; had I failed. 
Your kindness still had thrust them in my hands; 
Well, somewhere in the far-oflF future time, 
I'll pay you back by what I then may be! 
It strikes me now I've seen this modest lad. 
I bid you all good day! God bless you all! 
[Amid great excitement , Lincoln is carried away on the shoulders 

of the crowd. 
Hanks (throwing his cap in the air). — ^You didn't know you'se 

so desarvin, Abe! 

(Trying to kiss a Hoosier girl, he gets his ears boxed.) 
Down this way, boys! I've got a roasted bar! (preat cheering. 

End of Scene First. 

Act. I. — Scene H. 
Scene, Drawing room in Jxjdge Mayherry^s hov^e. 

Miss Todd. (Solu^) — ^To me what were all other loves but 
his! 
Soft words, suitors, music, the world beside. 
Such dimness and obscurity assume 

241 






18 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

As fonn a fitting background, for the one 

That with the hallowed light and tone of love» 

Embodies all the touches mind can give 

To stamp him hero of my very life! 

It seems a dream, but oh! he must be mine, 

I've seen my presence thrill him to the soul! 

I would be womanly, discreet with all — 

But what the world calb fashion I will pass. 

To gain this priceless treasure whilst I'm here. 

Philosophy at play with Earth and Sky, 

And all the subtle agencies they hold, 

Has shaken wonder in its grand results; 

But oh! The heart! This little human heart — 

How it defies all scientific skill. 

And jeers all cold philosophy to scorn! 

It fashions awkwardness to natural grace; 

The common dresses up in beauty's garb; 

On the ungainly stamps perfection's seal; 

As God draws rugged rocky regions grand. 

E'en making their contortions picturesque. 

Creating, and interpreting its own 

Irregular features, love can paint divine! 

For it, wealth cannot garnish up a grace — 

It rears this Lincoln, God-like, in my soul. 

And from him, pride, position, wealth, and fame 

But shrink, and leave him all the world to me! 

When taken from the water in his arms. 

Conveyed as with a giant's careless ease. 

In coming to, how tender was the touch 

That swept the dripping tresses from my brow — 

What sympathy and pity in his eye! 

If not the wife, I'd be the dog or bird. 

To win caresses from a man like him. 

I'd watch him, guard him, shield him from all harm: 

Mi 



TRAGBDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN !• 

If I could only see this honest Hanks, 

Whom, rumour says doth idolize this man 

By diplomatic tact—— [Enter Susan. 

Susan («irpmed).— Why how is this! Who had you here 
just now? 

Miss T. — Save imaginary presmoe, I've had none! 

Susan. — ^I'm sure I heard aome animated talk: 
Well coz., this secret, are you for a scold? 
^Twas Sail that teased, I only smiled assent. 
But tell me, with the rest, what made you pale? 

[Approaching and pvUin§ an arm around her. 

Miss T.— Ah! Sue! not Sarah or yourself I blame. 
When kindness cuts, the wound is easy heal'd. 
I have a secret — ^though you'll laugh I know, 
When in your ears I've emptied all its dregs. 
I love this homely man*— this Abraham. 
Some six years back, at peril of his own 
He saved my worthless life, and gave it me. 
As though the act were naught, and hied away 
To shun, as 'twere a contact with our thanks! 

Susan. — ^AU this is fine, but what am I to do? 
Well, well! so you're in love! it must be fine; 
Now truly, coz., just say what I'm to do? 

Miss ToDD.^^I'd meet him, as a stranger meets the same, 
And learn if what I've heard is really true. 
And more— by accident I'd have him told 
I am the same, whose life he once had saved. 
I'd have each word and action closely weighed. 
To see from all, if I can fashion hope. 
Now Susan, can you smother fun awhile. 
And help your cousin in this work of love? 

Susan. — Oh! I will help you — seriously I will; 
It must be nice, I wish I had a beau. 
But who is there befitting such as I? 

248 



20 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

There's Slimpy Jim» with ramrod legs and arms. 
So green and soft, you'd wring him like a rag — 
And what a nose — ^I wonder how he'd do! 
But 'bout this Abe of yoiu-s, I tell you what, 
He's not o'er pretty, but he's got a heart 
So big and warm, you feel it outside round 
Like sunshine, yielding life to all about. 
I think my father looks for him to-day! 
I'll lay my plans, then lay the siege straightway ; 
But see (looking out the window), he comes. 
The very man we want! 

Miss Todd (looking). — 'Tis he, I'd like to meet him, but 
not now; 
I'll see him, if I get a good report. 
And, getting bad, he ne'er shall see my face. 
I go, now don't forget the trust I leave. [Exeunt. ^ 

Susan. — Not I ; I'll read him in the largest type. 
Solus (fixing her dress). As Bill's away I'll have to let him in. 
Ah me! it must be rich to be in love! 
If I could find a chap I'd try it on. 
But there, he knocks (knocking is heard), 
I'll screw my courage up. [Enter Lincoln. 

Ah, good day, Abr'am; come right in — come in! 

Lincoln. — Good day. Miss Susan; it's a pleasant day — 
All well at home? the judge expects me here. 

Susan. — We're well! all well — ^my father is just out. 
(Aside) — [Oh how shall I commence f] Please take a seat 
Till he comes in! Sit down! you came off more than conqueror 
last week! 

Lin. — We'll pass that if you please — ^I like it not; 
Tho' still I'm grateful for all friendship shown, 
But deem the money loan'd — shall pay it back! 

Susan. — ^I guess not Abr'am, who would take a cent? 
You'd have to scattCT it for miles around. 

244 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM UNCOLN 21 

To change, why stared you at my cousin so? 
If I saw right you almost made her blush. 

Lin. — ^Well, can you keep a secret if I tell? 

Susan (aside). — ^Another secret — ^1*11 have my hands and 
ears, and may be heart, all full. 
(To Lincolny-'A secret, well, I'll try if 'taint too big. 

Lin. — ^You see, your cousin so resembled one 
That years ago, I for a moment met. 
And held as 'twere, so near this awkward heart. 
That ever since I've felt her nestling there — 
It staggered me, 'till I bethought that she. 
Of whom I long had dreamed, was far away. 

[Susan (aside). — / think Fve found one hope for MoU^ at 
least. 
But it has passed, and I could meet her now 
As I could meet an Indian, face to face. 

[Susan (Soltis). — Fd like to see them meet. To Lincoln: 
But Indians, are such awftd chaps you know. 
You never told us of your early love. 

Lin. — ^Her father in a mansion lived, whilst I 
Slept in a cabin on the forest edge: 
One day, whilst plunging in the rapids near, 
A boat against a rock gave one wild dash 
And went from 'neath that struggling girl and one 
Who proved her brother, when her life was saved. 
Him, as by chance, the rushing torrent caught 
And hurl'd all pow'rless, far beyond her reach. 
Twice sank she in the boiling waves from sight, 
Ere I was forced to use this brawny hand. 
And catch her by that wavy wealth of hair! 
I saved her, and I know not if 'twas love — 
But when I thought of her estate, and mine. 
And hied away, to clear the gaping group, 
I felt that in exchange for that dear load 

245 



f» TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

I*d got at heart a burthen heavier far, — 
Which has not lighter grown,, in six long years. 

[Stisan o^ufe.-^That's just the time, it must be he I'm sure.) 
'Tis pass'd; I hear that she is married now. 

Susan. — ^At least, I'll tell you one thing, very strange. 
My cousin thus was saved, at such a time. 
From just the awful fate you have described. 
But I will go and look my father up. 

[Asider-TYn^ secret's growing big for one smaU girl.] 
Excuse me for a little moment, please. l^xeunt. 

Lin. (greatly excit€d).''^So like, what's thisi and saved like 

her I saved: 
Oh, would it could be her! what if it could, 
The same deep gulf divides us, if it's her; 
Twice I have heard that she was married, sure. 
Here comes the judge* \Enter Judge. 

JuDQB — Good day my bc^! I'm 'fraid I've kept you long! 
I've something to propose; and why my heart 
So long has held it from my tcaigue» is strange. 
If from your duties in the store you've time. 
You're welcome to my library — ^and beside. 
If I can serve you> ask me what you will. 

Lin. (overpowered). — ^Kind friend—. 

[Judge inierrupting. — ^There» there, no thanks! I know what 
you would say; you'll stay to tea.l 
Well, Judge, to-day I'd rather not; 'tis late. 
My mail is yet to sort— the carrier waits. 

Judge (teazi7t^y).^-Yon haven't thought of sorting /e-mails 
yet. 

[Lincoln preparing confusedly to leave. 
You off, and leave no answering joke behind? 

Lin. — Judge Mayberry, you'll hear of me some day. 

iPxeunt Lincoln. 

Judge. — ^I rather think that time I hit a com. 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN ftS 

[Enter Susan and Miss Todd.] 

Susan. — ^Well papa, what d'you think, 'twas this same Abe 
That saved Moll's life, down at the roaring Forks. 

Judge. — It couldn't have fallen into better hands, 
Not if he had it there to keep for life, — 
I'd give my full consent; what say you, Moll? 
Alas, poor Abe! he's no time left for girls! 

Susan (aside). — ^Alas, poor Abe! I guess he'll find the time. 

Judge. — ^But, Moll, you'll strike for beauty, money, ha? 
And does he know 'twas you whose life he saved? 

[Miss Todd is affected.] 
But how is this, you seem to take it hard? 

Miss T. — 'Tis but a dizzy spell I sometimes have. 
[The girls prepare to leave.] 

Judge (aside). — ^I had such spells when my wife was a girl. 
Upon my word, there's something in the wind. 
The bag is open, and the cat is out. 

End of Scene Second. 



Act. I — Scene III. 

VieWf Bend in Sangamon River — Flat Booty partly buHt — Lin- 
coln and Hanks at work in the foreground. 

Hanks. — Wal, lost you much in closin' out the store? 

Lin. — 'Twas all a gain in money and in mind; 
For me, it suited neither legs nor brains 
To nm as others bade me come and go. 
And blather up old last year's goods as new. 
But John, I've added to my little bank. 
And in my time for studying the books — 
As counsel, given freely by the Judge, 
I've polished off the angles of my ways; 
An' e'en the Judge says, in a month or so 

247 



M TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

I may ^^tie up/'* and stick my shingle out. 

Hanks. — ^Wall, Abe, I'm all tu hum on tyin' up; 
But dang it, sticking out one's shingle's new. 
For me, I'd stick a plank rite out at first, 
And go the wholesale grunter, pigs and all. 

Lin. — ^You see in law, the thing is something thus: 
Your shingle out, you make the clients plank. 
But, neighbour Hanks, whilst on this theme of planks^ 
We've got to fix that deck before we load. 
You know we launch our craft to-morrow night, 
In just six weeks we must be back at home. 

Hanks. — Say, Cap'n in the book-lore, and the law» 
You're stickin' out your shingle and the like. 
You'll skarsely make a confidant much more 
Of me, and tell me all the little things 
You used tu unload at my very ears. 
But, boy, yeou know I've been your partner long: 
Thro' sunshine and in storm we've bunked in pair» 
You've never been tu proud tu tell me, clean. 
Are you and Molly Todd a^oin' tu hitch? 
Are you, who darsent look at any gal, 
Agoin' to turn me out, and take her in? 
If Moll's to take my place, I'd know it now. 

Lin. — ^Your first surmise, I answer, is not so! 
The latter one, I fear me, may be true. 
I'll not turn out John Hanks whilst I've a bed; 
If Moll takes me, she may be taken in : 
But while I have a cot, and it a door. 
To you the string hangs out forever more. 
If made the President of these great States, 
The greatest in the land will find in me 
No better, truer friend, than him I see. 
I'll tell you Jack, what — had a thought occurred. 
Or I but known myself all I had wished — 

^To locate in life and put out a sign. 

248 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM UNCOLN 25 

I might perchance have told you long before; 
For awkward, looney as to most I seem, 
I fancy Molly has a kinder eye. 
That paints me better than I really am: 
To morrow night I go to learn my fate, 
And until then we both will have to wait. 

Hanks. — ^Abe, if yer nominated in the fall 
To go to Congress, will you stan' — ^that's all? 

Lin. — ^The Legislature, not the Congress John, 
Will be honoured, if I go at all; 
My friends their minds may change, and cut me dead 
And come I not with glory from this war 
I would these "Sacs" and "Foxes" 'd kept their holes: 
I'd had far less in many of my plans. 

Hanks. — ^Ha, ha! that's good! but hoss, I reckon now 
You'd have the whole kaboozle knock'd in holes, 
Before you'd have one sac from little Moll! 

[Lincoln stops apparently lost in thought. 
There, there, old boy, I will not twit on facts! 
I only [A hoy is heard calling ^*Post Master.** 

Lin. — ^Young Snyder for his maib, 

[Taking off his hat and looking among papers and letters. 
It isn't here, I guess I'll have to leave; 
We'll, anyhow it's getting late I see. 
You finish that and then you'd better stop. ^Exeunt Lin. 

Hanks (laughing immoderately.. — Now if I didn't know that 
chap so well 
I'd think he's dazed, I wud I swow tu kits! 
'Mongst all the other irons in his fire, 
I b'lieve he's 'noculated now with love. 
He'll trap that gal too, sure's my name is Hanks; 
He never tried and didn't do — ^I swow — ow. 
From pleadin' cases, up tu holdin' plow. 
He studies 'long the road, whilst in his cap 

249 



M TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

He keeps the mail for all the clarins 'roun\ 
Cap'n of the Greys, cap'n of this craft,~ 
He's lawyer, merchant — still IVe heard him pray. 
That's strange! but stranger still nor all the rest, 
They say he's never known tu cheat or lie: 
An'good luck doesn't spile him, not a bit; 
That chap is bound tu cum tu somethin' yit. 
Wall, Moll has iled her feathers if it^s so. 
But I will follow them where'er they go; 
And if he goes tu Congress — ^I go tu — 
I've stuck tu him so fur, I'll see him through. 

[Enter Miss Todd disguised as an old lady.] 

MiBs Todd. — ^Am I addressing Mr. Hanks, kind sir? 

Hanks. — ^I'm never mistered much; I'm Hanks — John 
Hanks. 
{Aside}— ThaV 8 good! Moll Todd, strait out, I swow tu cats; 
I think the wind seems settin' fur sum fun;-^ 
Your sarvant, madam^ but jis call me Jack. 

[Taking out ecme tracts. 

Miss Todd. — ^You'll pardon if I offer you a tract? 
Hanks. — ^It needs no pardon mam, but bless you, still 
I'm better foUerin* far, nor readin* tracts: 
But Abe takes readin* as I take my grog. 
An' I but listen, he will read me dum. 

Miss T. — Of whom was that you spoke — a friend of yours? 

Hanks. — ^Don't know Cap'n Lincoln — "Abe'* — *'honest 
Abe.' 
Wall, when you know him once, you'll know a man. 
(-4^i(fe)— She cums tu pump, I'll overflow tu onct! — 

Lady. — Oh, yes; I've heard, and still I would hear more: 
I take great interest in the young of course; 
What do you know about this wondrous Abe? 

HANKS.-What do I know? — {adde) — ^I'll salt her mutton so 
'twill keep awhile! 

950 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM UNCOLN 27 

You see we're reckoned friends, 

An' what I speak, I spec that you'll keep mum; 

He'll fool somebody yet — ^he drinks like wrath, 

And lately 's tumin' dazed about the gals; 

It staggers you? Waal, facts will out, old gal, 

And then if he don't change, he may git shot; 

It somewhat shocks you — no relashun, ha! 

Miss T. — ^No; but if he is bad, I'd know it not; 
I know of one 'twould pain to hear such news: 
Is there not some mistake? I've heard of him 
Self sacrificing gen'rous, noble, true! 

Hanks (aside). — ^I'U stop, I've gone tu fur, I — ^I — ^know you 
don't— 
Now aged one just hark! I'll tell you facts, 
I kennot larf at other people's tears; 
I'll tell yer what I know of this ere chap, 
I know he's honer's shadder, truth distilled : 

[Miss T. aside]. — ^I hope I am not known. 
All brains from head tu heels, an' back; 
His nerves are made of iron, his heart ov oak! 
Yer brighten up! 

Miss T. — ^How's this, you change? 

Hanks. — Waal, yes; I do not like tu cut a gash 
Jist for the fun of droppin' in the salt; 
I foun' yer didn't like the other yam. 
An' started this, it suits yer better, eh? 
Miss T. — ^Well, does he drink, or risk the fatal shot? 

Hanks. — I know it well, that he both eats and drinks; 
An' if he fites the Injuns, may get shot. 
Yer haven't axed about ther gcds — ^but see! 
I know he's found out some how, Molly Todd's 
The gal whose life he saved long time ago. 
An' talks, an' dreams ov her, by day an' nite; 
I know if he shud ax her fur to splice, 

251 



98 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM UNCOLN 

An' she knows what I know, he'll not ax twice. 
And more an' all, I know, despite that cloak 
An' curls, an' paint, that you are Molly Todd. 

[Mis8 Todd in distress wrings her hands. 
Now don't do that, I swow I'll never blow! 
(Aside)— I wish I'se Abe, I'd swaller that gal hull. 

End of Scene Third. 

Act I. — Scene IV. 

Scene — Judge Mayherry's Parlour. 

Lincoln. — ^I wait again on fortune, fate, or luck. 
Or He who shapes them to His creatures' good. 
I know not why, but as I now look back. 
Sometimes pointing, and sometimes beck'ning me, 
Outstretched, the hand of Providence I see; — 
And often wonder where 'twill lead me yet! 
With scarce a month of most incipient school. 
My lib'ry little else than Nature's book, 
A few years since a shoeless ragged boy, — 
I stand astonished at the change I've seen. 
And almost doubt if I'm myself to-day. 
Hence I have come to ask a timid girl, 
More beautiful than brightest day of Spring, 
Descendant of a stainless hue of blood. 
To link her life — such hopes as hers — ^with mine. 
What positives and negatives to join! — 
A living type of "Beauty and the Beast; — 
And can I do it with my conscience clear? 
It is not yet too late, I'll tell her so! 
And now — {listening)— lor sure I ought to know that step; 
Not her's! — she keeps me waiting long to-night. 
Now that I thought her near, my heart felt weak : 

252 



TBAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 29 

I fear I've held her image there too long. 
To pull it like some venomed barb away. 
As Providence directs I still will act. 
This time I know the step — ^I would 'twere past. 

[Miss Todd enters 
(Saluting) — ^Ah, MoUie! 

Miss T. — ^Abr'am, have I kept you long? You'll pardon 
When you know what 'twas! — ^You're well? 

Lin.— Just so; the pains I take to keep me well. 
Well keep all pains but those I take^ away. 
What news? You got some by the mail to-day. 

Miss T. — ^Ah, yes; and for detaining you so long, 
I'll offer papa's letter, as excuse! 

Lm. — Well, Molly, is it yes or no with him? 
Impressed upon that face I see not no. 
And yet I somehow fear to hear you speak. 

Miss T. — He sends me yes! And more, almost as good; 
He's painted me a portrait of yourself — 
Just struck the outline out in words you see — 
It's splendid, though it flatters not I know. 

Lin. — ^Well if it's like, it must be pretty^ Moll! 

Miss T. — It's like, at least, what many cannot be. 
And yet not quite the original to me. 

Lin. — Have you well turned this matter to the light. 
And weighed what 'tis you give to such as me? 
Long time I've wandered, groping for the dawn 
To usher in this happiest day of days. 
When life seems yielding what I most have asked. 
On me, such blissful glory seems ill cast; 
O'erwhelmed, I doubt my right to act, and ask 
You to advise — ^who stoop so far to me 
Which of these waiting paths I see, to take. 
One beckons on to ruin, gloom, and death; 
The other flashes with perennial light, 

253 



80 TBAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

And yet o'er you its radiance throws a shade. 

In battling with the world I've shown some strength, 

But kindly tell me, which of these two ways! 

Miss Todd. — ^I answer then, the one that leads with me. 
I've loved to think our paths in one will blend. 
I rather soar^ than stoop to such as thee! 
If brighter gems there be than hearts like thine, 
I ask them not — ^they need not flash for me. 
On such an arm as thine I long to lean. 
And feel within its clasp, how safe FU be : 
I know 'tis love that shows you what you fear, 
And this but teaches what a love it is! 

Lin. — Well, from this hour, I shake all fear away; 
Such new resolves you'll love to help me keep. 
And bless me, when you find how well they're kept. 
Now wing and gild Uie intervening days, 
To speed the hours that seal our fates in one. 
Shall we, when up the river I return. 
This sacred transfer of our hearts foreclose. 
Or see how from the ^^Blackhawk" war I come? 

Miss Todd — ^I'd be thy wife ere on the Indian trail 
You leave, perchance to never more return! 

Lin. — ^Ah then* 'tis fixed, thank God! and on that day 
Forged to this heart, you will be truly mine; 
And by that heart, I'll try and make you feel 
In all and all, how little you have lost. 

\L(>oleing at his watch. 
How swift impassioned moments waft us on, 
When love both forms and fills their golden wings. 
(Preparing to leave) — ^Be careful, dear, when I'm away; it's late. 

[Dratoing her to him and looking up. 

254 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 81 

Miss Todd — ^When on the Mississippi's bosom bome^ 
May'st be as safe as thou art here by mine 
I'll count each moment, 'till one comes with thee. 
Our Father keep us both. 

[They embrace. 
End of Scene Fourth. 

Act I. — ^ScENE V. 
Dramng-foom in Judge Mayberry^s house. 
Reception of the bride and groom, and CalUhumpian Serenade — 



The Bride* s Father — The Judge — Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln — 
and the Misses Mayberry in attendance. 

Mr. Todd — ^A great mistake, young man» I've seen you oft. 
And knowing you were plotting thus with Moll* 
I hardly think your merits would have weighed. 

Mrs. L. — ^What plotting. Papa? that is pretty good 
The whole has come and gone just like a flash. 
It's been all worked out in my visit here. 
Time has done something since you saved me, Abe! 

Mr. T. — ^Ah! you but gave her then, to take her back! 

Lin. — My first reception was a damper, sure; 
Our second {looking about) will not be so chilly, think? 
I b'Ueve I saved her once again last night! 

Mrs. Lin. — 'Twas I took pity and saved you, you mean. 

Lin. — Well now we both are saved, let's try and save. 

Judge — ^Well, save the mark, but saved or lost, I'll say 
The wear and tear of courtship has been saved 
If nothing else, by cutting matters short — 
(Aside) — (The youngsters acted openly and frank). 
(Takes up a glass.) Nothing but fun we'll have to night, your 

health! 
As you are both linked to make one Lincoln, 



82 TRAGEDY OP ABBAHAM LINCOLN 

So may you never to unlink, be thinkin'. 
But may the chain — each little link* you add, 
Be like its ma — the image of its dad! 

[Mrs. Lincoln gives the Judge a good beating.] 
Lin, — ^The wine is good for berrys ripe too soon, 
M&y-berrys must be green enough in June, 
But since as Judge you tied us both in one. 
We'll hold you good for any damage done. [AU drink. 

[Sarah M. (as black Bob the Fiddler is shown in.) 
Whist! see here's Bob! Bob, toast the bride and groom! 
Bob. — ^Toas* him, honey? sure he's gone dun brown. 
(puis glass.) Wal, Massa Linkum, facts are stubby things^ 

you know 
I'se too overpowered for suppression! 
De momentum is too momentous like, 
Fer de luscion molicum of dis yer child, 
Dafour I makes my toas' superfluous sar; 
I jist wish both yer, sacs and gobs of joy! 
(Many of Lincoln* s former and recent companions , hunters y fife, 
enter^ among which an Indian^ styled **Red Wing^** and 
Stoddard are seen, who pay their respects^ andy excepting the 
Indian, leave.) 
Miss Susan. — Now, Red Wing, you must give the folks a 

toast! 
Red Wing. — ^Eh, eh! Burnt Bison! Toas' good, burnt 
bread — ^ha! 
Eh! warrior love to give young brother toas' — 
Give white brave whisky, cabin, rifle, life! 
Tall Pine go fight bad Indian, Red Wing go. 

Lin. — Red Wing, you don't know what my sister means! 
When you go to drink wish us (points to his wife) some good! 

Red Wing. — Indian dum baby! learn new kind of toas' 
Eh, eh! wish brother, sister, great uncounted time 
Dis side. Red Spirit's hunting ground beyond! 

256 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 83 

£h, Red Wing talk too much! say nuffin too. 

[Shakes Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln by the hand^ and walks 
direcUy out. 
Lin. — ^He*s true as steel, he goes with me as scout. 
Mr. Todd. — ^I'll make it pay you to give up that trip! 
Lin. — Captain to desert his men — at such a time? — 

Wst Hunter and others are shovm in. 
1st Hun. — ^Wall, Abe! Ole hoss! youVe picked your flint 
I see 
Is this yer gal? I wish yer tamal joy! (Shakes both by the 

hand) 
Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong are shown in, when Lincoln leaves all 
to go forward and give them a most hearty toelcome.) 
Lin. — Mollie! father! judge, cousins, one and all, 
Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong! Two good old friends, 
WhoVe journeyed far to be with us to-night; 
They served and helped me when I*d scarce a friend, 
I*d have them welcome as myself — ^Here, wife. 
These are the two who taught me how to read! 
(The Misses Mayberry step forward and are introduced with 

whom they retire.) 
I'll serve those two a kind turn yet sometime. 

\John Hanks now makes his appearance. 
Another hero I must offer you ; 
My groomsman, friend, and chum, kind friends; — 
John Hanks! I'd press his hand in any court 
To those not knowing, find him out straight forth. 
H ANKS.-Ambassador — ^Penitentiary — ^profound ! 
Somehow, I make my bow just now — ^I swow — ow! 
Mrs. L., bearin' yer presents, and the rest. 
Your pardon! I'm not used to sitch ere stuff! 
And when I strike tu hard, just cry enuff ! 
Abe sed as I'se to make myself tu hum 
Down here to-night, if I wud only cum; 



S4 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

So I pitched on these fixins an' am here. 

Tho' dang it all! things do look kinder queer. 

(Fills up his glass) Here's tu Old Abe! railsplitter of the we8t» 

In anything he undertakes the best! 

And Mrs. Abe! a lucky gal, I swow — ow — ow — 

Ah, hold! I ain't agoin, to finish now — 

Here's to Abe Lincoln! who'll jump higher. 

Dive deeper, swim longer, an cum out dryer, 

Than any "white" "red" "Indian" or "nigger" 

{Sees Bob) Is that you. Bob? I swow tu ca — ^a — ^kittens; 

{Hanks y disgusted toith the frequent use of that expression^ makeB 

strange work hereafter in trying to avoid it.) 
No yer didn't, old, young, little or bigger — 
Wall, ther's my toas' an now yer promise, Abe — 
Yer tole me, hoss, that I'se tu buss yer bride! 

Lin. — ^Yes Molly! John must have a kiss to-night; 
That is if "Sue" don't happen to be by. 

Hanks. — {Wiping his hands and puckering his lips) 
Wall, sure enuff, {looking around) the critter hasn't cum! 
She sed she's comin' roun' tu take a trot; 
Now, Abe, look on and see the thing dun rite (gives a kiss) 

Susan. — ^Is some one killed! I thought I heard a shot. 

Hanks. — I'm double-barrelled Sue, jist wait your tarn. 
One good tarn desarves a half-a-dozen, 
Now both! yer might for once, throw in a hug! 
Opens his arms as Mrs. L. retreats, quickly followed by Miss 
Susan Mayberryy just as the door opens and Susannah 
Stubbs enters. 
Ah, Susan and Susannah! what a fix! 
Tu Sues, an neither like to bring a suit, 

Lin. — ^If your suit suits so badly, seek redress. 

Hanks. — (Pretending arrangement.) 
It doesn't suit; Susannah you're in time. 

[She is cordially received. 

258 



TBAGEDY OF ABBAHAM LINCOLN S5 

Judge. — ^It's getting late! Abe, my boy, the dance, the 

dance! 
Lm. — ^True, true, the dance! we*ll not forget old Bob — 
He's better drawmg bows than most the gab. 
Bob. — ^Ees Massa Linkum, clar de floor for sure! 
They commence a dance, in which first the Judge leads off with 
Mrs Lincoln, Mr. Todd with Susan Mayberry, Mr. Lin-^ 
coin with Mrs. Armstrong, Mr. A. with Miss Sarah May* 
berry, and John with Susannah — secondly, John Hanks 
leads off with the bride, Mr. Todd with Susannah, and 
otherwise as Stage Manager elects, when a western country 
dance is fvUy illustrated. The dance concluded, congratu- 
lations are exchanged, and Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln are left 
to themselves. 
Jan. — ^Well Moll, what think you of my western friends? 
Mrs. L. — ^They're rough, but kind and honest I should 

think — 
Lin. — ^Yes, 'neath the homespun, as 'neath cloth of gold, 
The kindest promptings of a heart may throb — 
What's that? [The Calitiiumpians are heard. 

Mbs. L. — {Holding her ears) Oh my; what dreadful sounds 
are those? 
Lin. — (laughing) Ha! ha! I might have known those 
boys would come, 
They're bound to have their food and drink, or play. 
Mbs. L. — It's open insult — ^you'll not treat them, sure? 
Lin. — ^Fun! only fun; they're all old friends of mine. 
The following instruments are distinctly heard, viz., the famous 
Calithumpian fiddle, made by rosining the opposite sides of 
an empty dry goods box, and a long rough stick of timber or 
rail, and pushing or pulling the latter over the former, like 
a fiddle bow (to which noise nothing earthly can be likened) 
cracked clarionets, tin horns, tin pans, drums, bells, toy 
whistles, with imitations of pigs, cats, dogs, donkeys, etc. 

259 



36 TRAGEDY OP ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

Mrs. L. — Well this is too much — ask them in, pray do! 

[Both hold their ears. 
Lin, — ^It's rather steep, I guess we'll grease their pipes. 
Mrs. L. — Hurry! hurry! pray ask them in just now, 
I havn't got a cultivated ear. 

Lincoln goes to the door and invites a motley crowd in all dis-- 
guises to enter; some of them who have just left his company ;^ 
many have their instrumsnis. 

Lin. — ^Upon your strings the night air must be bad; 
Take something warm, then give us just one pull. 

[R^reshments are brought and healths drank^ 
Now just one dulcet strain, to please my wifel 

Leader. — ^We'U try and strain you one mellifluous strain. 
{Mrs. Lincoln holds her earSy they give one horrid blasts and the- 
curtain drops.) 

End of Act First. 

Act II. — Scene I. 

Scene y Library in Mr. Lincoln* s house j Springfield^ lU.y eight 
years having elapsed since closing of the last Act. 

Lin. — (Solu4i) It is said that wealth and fashion most 

secure 
The honors, friends, position, fame we seek; 
Not either of these gilded baits I cast. 
But with stem poverty's half covered barb, 
I've hooked more honors than I really want — 
Of friends it seems I've made a wondrous haul! 
Fame and position just begin to bite — 
Scenes I had drawn as swampy slimy pools. 
Have turned to fairy lakes, o'er which my bark 
From gilded prow has flung but silv'ry spray ; 
In far-off prints I read about myself, 

260 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 87 

With comments on my marvellous career. 

With extracts from my lectures, speeches — ^jokes — 

Some famous jokes they coin and lay to me. 

They've garnished up that Mississippi trip, 

In that old scow that Hanks and I put up, 

Tending store and pigs, holding plough and court, 

My wrestling, jumping, splitting sides and rails, 

As each were on some noble virtue based. 

Now, face to face with Douglas — on the stump — 

TheyVe thrust me; and how I wonder what he'll think, 

That "little giant" of the mighty west! 

Just one more meeting and the contest's through; 

This time I'll try and get him "on the hip" — 

[Knocking is heard. 
^Tis strange, but John is showing some one in. 

[Servant shows in a lady. 
Ah! Mrs. Armstrong, how are you? Sit down! 

Mrs. a. — Oh, Mr. Lincoln! God will bless your heart! 
My boy! my boy! you've given him back to me. 
And oh, to think that if he had been hung. 
Or thought a murderer whilst being saved. 
He lives! and not a blood-tint dims his name. 
To trickle on his race for coming years ; 
And I have walked the way to pay and thank; 

[Ptdling out and offering a roll of biUs. 
For you, this cash my many friends have raised — 

Lin. — Oh, put that by, we'll have a little talk; 
Not as a lawyer pled I for your son — 
Who taught me how to read. My offer see! 
So as you ne'er engaged, I charge no fee. 

Mrs. a. — ^But see! just hark! the money's plainly yours, 
I have not counted, but they say who have 
There's nigh imto a thousand dollars there. 

261 



88 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

Ias. — ^Well since its mine, I'll tell you what I'll do 

[Writes on a paper. 
There see! I'll make it over to your son; 
He'll need it for the time and money lost. 
I never hope too busy yet to be, 
Or rich, or proud, or have a heart too hard 
To save an old friend's child, his honest life. 

Mrs. a. — Oh Mr. Lincoln, I am stricken dmnb! 
This money's John's and I'm to take it back? 
You will not take it from me; bless your soul. 

[Mrs. A. gets up to go. 

Lm. — Not a cent, but stay; you've far to go. 
Ah boy, look here! (Servant appears) [Points to a door. 
So, so, in there; you'll some refreshment take; 
Ah don't refuse, you'll take a cup of tea. [Exeunt Mrs. A. 
(JSolus) To think for doing right we would be paid, 
Where else but in this life can one earn Heaven? 
And for the devil, would folks blindly buy 
What conscience doth approve, with gold? 
The real murderers first put the law. 
Then circumstances on this young man's track 
To save their wicked lives by hanging him 
I felt that I could clear him, and 'tis done; 
But pay would rather steep the act in scorn. 
Oh no; when I remember whence I sprung, 
To e'er forget the poor becomes me not. 

[Doors opens and Mrs. Lincoln enters. 

Mrs. a. — (returning) God bless you. Sir; Oh Sir, most 
noble Sir! [Exeunt 

Mrs. Lm. — Dearest, poor Bob, whose mother is a slave. 
Has called for what you promised you would give. 

Lin. — ^I promised him his mother should be freed, 
We lack two hundred of the sum he named 

[Looking in the drawer. 

262 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 89 

I've but one hundred with me, by-the-by 
As I'm expecting Hanson 'bout the bridge, 
Will you, dear, run to Marshall's, cross the way, 
And ask the other for a day or so? 

Mrs. Lin. — ^I will with pleasure — do not toil too much 
I fancy o'er this work and case, you're pale! 

Lm. — 'Tis anxious love that dims my Molly's eye, 
I ne'er was half so well as I am now. 
These kindly acts refresh both mind and heart! 

Mrs. Lm. — ^Well, well, I'll serve this black man, well as 
you. 

[Exeunt as servant announces Judge Hansom. 

Lin. — ^Ah yes; he's prompt, just show him in at once! 
(looking at the clock as the Judge enters.) You and the 
pointers. Judge, are at the hour. 

Judge. — ^I would not trespass on such time as yours; 
About this bridge case, that I wrote you of, 
I had such counsel as I thought would do. 
Now, without you, they swear they'll leave the case 
And me too, in a rather ticklish place; 
What say you? you'll not have much work to do. 
What are your terms to put the matter through? 

Lin. — ^I'U take a thousand as my fee at start, 
If we gain, leave the balance to your heart. 

Han. — Good gracious! what? sure you are jesting now; 
I've read you gen'rous in each trivial act; 
And last week, did you not for nothing plead 
"Assault and battery case," for Hardfare Frail? 
The honour of this case you see is great. 
Its interest affects one-half the State. 

Lin. — ^And did I not well charge such men as you. 
When these poor women call, what could I do? 
This great case, of great men and the State, 
Methinks the pay should too, be something great. 

263 



40 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

I measure all my clients by their purse. 
Then strike an average 'twixt the bad and worse; 
I never barter; will my terms suffice? 
Han. — ^I have no choice but to accept your charge. 

[Counting out the money ^ 
'Tis fixed; at ten to-morrow, I will call 
And bring my papers, and my counsel all. 

^nter blackBob in great hoHe^ with his hat under his arm. 
Bob. — Oh Massa! Halalewyer, bless de Lor! 
I'se clar broke down, I'll hab my mudder now. 
( Kneels in great excitement and clasps Mr. Lincoln around the 

knees.) 
I bress de day I followed you out har. 

(Mrs. Lincoln^ affected, comes in and looks on, while even Han^ 
som is Umched.) 

End of Scene I. Act Second. 

Act II. — Scene II. 

Scene in hotel, Springfield. 

Several politicians, among whom is John Hanks. On a prom^ 
inent hoard, the following drinks are enumerated in bright 
colors, ''Hot Punch,'' ''Egg Nog,'' "Tom and Jerry,'* 
"Rail Fence," "Jersey Lightning," "Tangle Foot," &c. 

IsT Pol. — (holding a newspaper) It seems the Wigwam 
chaps are gettin' hot 
On Cameron, the Keystone boys give out, 
An "Abe" our Springfield Nag, is leadin all ; 
He's smart I own, he's picked up some of late — 
He'd make a pretty President though I swow. ^ 

Hanks. — Now what dye mean by purty? hold a bit; 
I've known this man since he's a ragged boy, 

264 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 41 

And never saw his ek'l or his like! 

I've chopped, and hoed, and mowed an slept with him; — 

I've seen him give a squaw his last red cent; 

At work or play, I never saw him beat; 

Gentle as a dove, kind as any gal, 

I've known him turn a lion at a word. 

Who but him, e'er took Steve Douglas down? 

2d Pol. — Steve licked him though, when once they cum to 
vote. 

Hanks. — ^Them Egypt fellows alius vote one way. 
Steve owned in speechifying he was throwed. 
The last time that he spoke, I heard him do't. 

IsT Pol. — ^Abe's smart enuff but on the "nigger" wild, 

[To Bob (aside) who is seen grinning at the window. 
Clear out there "Snow Ball," or I'll wool you sure. 

Hanks. — ^Yaas, on the nigger wild, that same old gag. 
He b'leves the outside shade don't reach the heart. 
That man's no right to chain his fellerman. 
Or sell his wife and children off like sheep. 
Stock slaves, upon our prairies' stead of free, 
Build slave pens here, instead of churches, skules; 
I say he's right! and you a pack of f ules. 

Sd Pol. — Hurrah for Hanks! you titched him on the quick, 
[Several join in the laugh and propose to ^Hicker** up. 
That time you tole the truth old boy, ha, ha! 
Out in Kansas one of these masters cum 
An bought at least ten miles of land around, 
To work the whole cabosh with boughten nigs, 
To keep the Eastern boys from settlin' there. 

IsT PoL.-Why you're a reg'lar abolitionist, Simms, 

Sd Pol. — ^Well, call me what you like, they say a rose 
By any other name will smell somewhat, 
iaU laugh) Or something of the sort. I'm just Free Sile. 

1st Pol. — Wal here's one little fact, you all can bet, 



42 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

The South, if he's elected will not stand 
An' see a "nigger shrieker" rule the land, 

Hanks. — Oh, they'll pull wool, an eat fire won't they now? 
Just mark my word, if he's elected, and 
He will be if he's nominated, sure. 
He'll take his seat, and keep it tu, just mind, 
Till all this abolition cry is hushed. 

1st. Pol. — ^All bosh; the South will rally to a man. 
Take Washington, and drive these Yankees home. 
If Lincoln reaches there alive — 

^Loud shouts are heardy and martial music. A man rushes in. 
vnth a telegraphic dispatch, hands it to Hanks, who reads, 
**Wigwam, Chicago, 2.30 p. m. Cameron and Seward 
Withdrawn, and the ^Rail Splitter nominated, by a unani- 
mous vote. All Chicago is in a blaze. A committee is 
appointed to inform Mr. Lincoln of his nomination. By 
order of the committee.^^ 
Hanks. — ^Now, boys! three rousers, and a tiger too; 
Hip, hip, {the hotel is fairly shaken with the cheering) 
3d Pol. — ^Put up the barrel on the counter there. 
An let the critter run as free as air. 

^ar keeper puts up the barrel and all who wish help themselves.. 
1st Pol. — ^Well, go it coons, you're bound to come to grief^. 
Old Breckinridge will win, or I'm a thief. 
3d Pol. — ^It seems you are, whether he wins or no. 
1st Pol. — ^Ah, ha, what! Zounds who said that ar to me?" 

[Draws a Bowie knife. 
You barkin' woolly dogs, who darsen't bite. 
Crawl in your holes, I'll show you how to fight. 
[Rushes towards Srd Pol. with knife, while Hanks coming up^ 
behind with one hand catches the handle of his knife, and 
with the other pushes his cap down over his eyes.) 
Hanks. — Say what you will, and vote for who you like! 
But I'm tu hum, when once you cum to strike. 

266 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 43 

[ Holds him while two revohers are taken from his pocket. 
These are your arguments, when others fail! 

[Som^ are about to kick and cuff him. 
Now all Stan' back, Ve'U sentence this ere chap. 
[Several rush up to help 1st Politician, hut are roughly pushed 
back amid cheers for **Old Abe,*^ the "jRatZ Splitter,^^ &c. 
You chaps that's drawn no weapons, you retire! 
Free speech, free thought, we rather much admire, 
For knives and pistols never care a rap; 
What shall we do with this ere lousy chap? 
Srd Pol. — ^Let's take him to the pump, and 'neath the 
spout 
Prepare to put his southern fire out. 
Then give him just one hour to leave the place. 
Never again to show his hansum face 
On pain of '^tar and feathers," and the rail! 
Or sumthin' worse, in case the others fail! 

[Amid cheers and shoutings they are kicked and hustled out. 

[Pointing to the drinks. 
Ha! "Rail SpUttin," "Rail Ridin," and "Rail fence!" 

[Capl. Stoddard enters here, and helps to sing. 
Another drink than that would hev no sense! 
That's it upon the coimter, by the way, 
I've only tasted half a cask to-day. 

2nd Pol. — ^We'U try a dozen yards to clear our throats, 
This drinkin' lightly make us feel our oats! 
[AU drink and sing, in which Bob joins, "/)e Kingdom* s coming.'^ 

End of Scene Third. 



267 



44 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

Act II. — Scene III. 

{Comer of Street^ near Lincoln' e house — Time, Night — Hanks 

and Armstrong enter.) 

Armstrong — ^I watched my chance to get a word with you^ 
You know the funds that Lmcohi gave to me — 
Perhaps you have not heard about it» Hanks! 

Hanks. — ^I rely know not what you mean» my lad! 

Arm. — My friends had raised a purse, to pay his fee 
For saving me in my late awful case. 

Hanks. — ^I know he cleared you, but about the rest? 

Arm. — ^Well, one day mother brought it here afoot. 
And think you, not a cent of it he'd touch! 

Hanks. — ^Ah, lad! I sure could well hev told you that — 

Arm. — ^He took and signed the money all to me — 
And now I know how I can pay him back! 
Last night, Jim Jones came over to our house 
With startling news from Baltimore, direct — 
The '^Union League" have ascertained somehow 
An oath that's passed the ^'Golden Circle'' Lodge; 
They've hired assassins to way-lay poor Abe — 
And at the dSp6t, shoot him like a dog! 

Hanks. — Shoot Abe! how's that? say that agin, my boy! 
Ah! now I'll do what I had thought to do! 

Arm. — Just wait, I'll tell you what I've got to say. 
All in hard cash, I've got that money yet — 
That rifle cane of mine, that's some, you know — 
I'll take it, then, when dress'd in some disguise, 
With "Black Bob" and my money, I shall start 
For Baltimore — ^from all but you unknown. 
I know the Union boys will have their men, 
But do they miss, I'll be upon the ground. 

Hanks. — ^And I'll be near you, boy; I've promised Abe 
To go an' see the 'naugeration. Mind, 

268 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 45 

If man shoots him, and don't get shot, henceforth 
John Hanks, a renegade, will shrink away. 
Art sure that this is truthful news you bring? 

Arm. — ^Are you a member of the "Union League?" 

Hanks. — ^I am! 

Arm. — ^Then, sure you need not question me. 

Hanks. — 'Tis right! while he an* they are splurgin' round. 
We'll beat them inter Baltimore a week — 
Well, well, I'm mighty glad you told me lad. 

Arm. — 'Twas that that brought me all the way to-night. 
The serenade will be all extra, see — 

Hanks. — ^Well, Abe shall know it when the fuss is o'er. 
And Hanks your service will not soon forget; 
I'd give my life for Lincoln's, any day — 
And is this all? yer see it's gettin' late! 

[People begin to come. 
Hallo! the crowd begins to come, we'll stay; 
Well, then, to-morrow evening at eight. 
We'll meet you at the cars, and make things straight. 
[The great crowd {among which is a brass band and torchbearers) 
call loudly for ^^Lincdn,'* who soon appears at an upper 
window of his house. 

Lin. — ^Friends, fellow-citizens! brothers, all! 
I've asked myself, and found no answer yet — 
What's in me? what I ever yet have done 
To earn the honours that you make me bear? 
Why out of mighty minds, that crowd our land. 
You jostle giants by, and grappling me. 
Exalt to highest seat of earth a man 
To fame and glory most as yet, unknown! 
Long since the lightning flashed athwart the land, 
The verdict that our ballot box had given. 
And then, as now, you made our town alive 
With deaf 'ning cheers, and music, light, and joy. 

269 



46 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

The cannon thundered forth, the rockets gleamed; 

Congratulation in unbroken sound 

Has feasted me on smiles, and shouts and tears — 

Ah! tears of joy I've seen from honest eyes. 

Like raindrops falling on my hand when clasped! 

What shall I promise to all this, or say? 

Those knowing me, know what 1*11 try and do — 

Justice alike to our extended land; 

And they who know me not, will waiting, learn. 

That free from prejudice — ^aye, party too — 

I'll strive to be the President of all. 

My heart and mind, and more than all, my tongue. 

Seems far too weak, when measured with the glow 

That flashes from this host of kindred friends, 

To form my deep emotions into words! 

As these are moments when the heart, run wild. 

Will jingle all the senses out of tune. 

Accept thus all the thanks my tongue would shape. 

And could my overwrought heart but let it speak. 

To keep that heart, and guide my mind, I ask 

When I am gone, your thoughtful fervent prayers! 

I bid you all good*bye! God bless each one! 

(Band playSy amid great cheering^ **Hail to the Chief.** Then 
cries are raised for *VoodaU.** One says: — **Ooodcdll Good- 
aUl let*s ha/ve some funr GoodaU, mounted on a hox^ finally 
delivers himself.) 
GooDALL — ^We know, my boys, "Old Abe" is not a fool. 

If he only went but seven days tu skule! 

He doesn't know what's in him — ^what he's ever done. 

We chaps kin tell him if he doesn't know : 

He stands to-day an Ajax in this land — 

A cross of alligator, hoss, an bar! 

Before his tarm of orfiss has gin out. 

He'll 'nex the smaller hemispheres to oum; 

870 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 47 

You'll see our eagle roostin' on each pole, 

A crowin', flappin\ like "Ole Chapman's cock," 

An broodin' all creashun' 'neath his wings. 

We'll cram our banner full of rajiant stars 

'Till nary space is lef for enny stripes! [Some one crows. 

Oh, squeak away yer locyfocy skunk! 

Each week we'll have a inderpendence day — 

[Some one brays, another cackles. 
There's dimicrats about! Salt River's full, I s'pose! 
When all the airth ole "Yankee doodle" hiun — 
An "Hail Columbia" swells her stanzas siun. 
Mind you, my friends, he'll rather make things cum, 
An now I wish I had a swig of rum; 
I feel as I cud soar, and so — o — o — 

[A package of crackers explodes, the box upsets, and he is borne 
off, crying, **Locofoco by thunderr 

End of Scene Thirds 



Act II. — Scene IV. 

{An aUey leading to Rail Road D6p6t, BaUimore. Assassins 

plotting to shoot Lincoln.) 

1st Assas. — ^You've got the progranune in your noddle 
drilled? 
'Tis understood, when Cap'n shoots the cuss. 
He passes thar, an once on Lightfoot's back, 
On for the rebel grouns, with bosses fresh 
Awaiting him most every mile, he goes! — 
At first, we act the blind, to balk pursuit; 
If need be, get the poliss on our track 
An be arrested — ^if it ciuns to that — 
The pay is good; you know we're sure of that! 

2nd Assas. — Oh! that's all right, and we've to look him out 

271 



48 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

But from this picter (shows a photograph) that should not be 

hard — 
Full dress or black, and rushan stove-pipe hat — 

[ Hanks f Armstrong ^ and Bob are seen. 
Vd prig him in the darkest night, I would — 
*Twill not be long now, till the ears arrive! 
2nd Assas. — His eye is mild (looking at picture) I'd kinder 
hate tu shoot — 

]]bisteningy he seems to hear a noise. 
Hist! what is that? I seem to hear a noise! 

[Hanks and party shrink away. 
1st Assas, — ^Yo'r gittin* skeery! now thar's no one 'bout; 

[Engine whistle is heard. 
But thar's the whistle at the upper curve! 

[They move towards the cars, which are seen to arrive. 
Hanks (and party following) — A pretty brace of wretches 

those, I swow! 
Young Armstrong. — ^And after all, another wretch will do't. 
Hanks. — ^I*d like to set these peepers on the coon; 
But thar*s one point they don't expec' — disguise! 
When Abe is dressed, they say he dus beat all! 
He's cumin' secon' class they tell me, too; 
Now, put yer blinkers on that car; d'ye mind? 

Arm. — Just so; but tell me 'bout ole Abe's new dress! 
Explain what new contoglements he's got! 

Hanks. — ^Wal, when you see a grey Scotch plaid, and cap, 
PuU'd down like this, 'tis him yer see! 
Ole Abe yer know, was lengthy ; now, he'll stoop. 
Now mind! is that ar cane of your's O. K.! 

Arm. — O. K. All cocked and primed; if some one fires, 
I'll shoot the dog who does it, in his tracks! 

Hanks. — ^I b'lieve it, but they've laid their plans for nix; 
But jine me ef yer hear these critters bark! 

[Shows a pair of revolvers. 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 49 

Thar's lots of Union Leaguers scattered round, 

If once thar play begins, thar'll be a muss! 

I have a little biziness with that boss, 

They'll not use Light feet much to-day, I guess — 

Bob, go an' bring that boss's hind off shoe. 

Mind, coves, I'm known as John Hanks now no more. Mean 

time 

I'm known as Pearsley^ till I change, 

[Bob leaves. 
So don't forget! thar cum the cars, I swow! 
Somebody's 'spected, but they'll think 'taint him! 
(Cars are seerty and among the crowds porters moving trunks^ 

hoys selling papers, a^ also the assassins, with Pearsley 

and Armstrong, watching them and the cars; whilst a person, 

disguised as before mentioned, is seen walking quietly qffy 

with an old carpet bag in his hand.) 
Pearsley. — ^Wall now, I never! who'd a thought that's Abe! 
I swow tu cats, if Moll wud know him now — 
He's had ther knife for twenty years, I know:* 
Zouns! but he ought to have another sure. 
(Bob comes up with the horse shoe, and points out one of the 

assassins, who is watching Lincoln rather closely.) 
Is that yer game? don't go ter close, my buck — 
(fiob hands the shoe.) 
That shoe may shew us somethin yet! 
So, so! he ain't the man yer want! 
Don't answer to the picter, does he, ha? 
An, Bob, see thar! how Armstrong watches Abe — 
{A shot is fired near by.) 

Halloo! what's that? but we will stan' our ground! 
{A man looking something like Lincoln should, is brought into 

view, wounded, and a crowd gather.) 

*The ugliest man is said to be presented with a knife, which he carries until he meets 
one uglier than himself. 

«7S 



50 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

Armstronq. — (jComing back) — ^Well, that's too bad, but still 
it isn*t Abe! 

(The cry is raised thai Lincoln has been shot.) 
1st Assas. (coming nearer) — Judge Ransom, the slaver 
holder, has been killed. 
(Aside) He duz look like the picter, that's a fac! 
Pearslet (aside). — ^Now, blast yer picter if he don% I 
swow! 
Wall, Armstrong, one of their own ones has got rubbed — 
I'm sorry; but its better so nor wuss; 
But Abe is safe — an' through this devilish hole — 
An I must have a yell, ef I get shot! (so that all can hear) — 
Fur Abram Lincoln still alive — ^three cheers! 
(Many join in the cheering^ when the assassins and others men-- 
acingly draw nigh.) 
1st, Assas. — Who are you that cheers that old gorilla here? 
Pearslet. — Me! I'm a man! I dusent fight for pay! 
But Stan' yer back! I'll shiver yer to shucks! 

[Revolvers are drawn. 
Don't talk tu me, yer om'ry braggin pups! 
(Stones and clubs begin to faU around^ and firing is heard. Bcb 
snatches a knife from Ist Assassin^ s hands ^ and rushes like 
a tiger on the 2nd, who is about to strike Pearsley from be- 
hind; others rush on Bob, when Armstrong, and finally 
Pearsley, joining in, they knock the rioters right and lefiJ) 
Rioter. — ^Yer sneakin, stingy, dirty Yankee curs — 
Yer can't pass through this city, to and fro. 

Pearslet. — ^If I hit you, you'll think the moon has fell 
Right on your head curslung, with both horns down! 
We can't? How bout thar Massachusetts boys? 
A han'ful licked yer all they say, last week — 

274 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 51 

We'll pass yer city, or we'll sink it mind! 
An now stan' back or else we'll rub yer out. 
iThen closes a BaUimore riot, in which, with revolvers, canes, and 
pistds, Pearsley, party and friends have Ike best of it.) 

End of Scene Fourth and Ad Second. 

Act III. — Scene I. 

Cabinet Room, White House. 

Lin. (Solus) — ^Farewell repose! Retirement, ease, farewell! 
I miss thee now as I do miss those scenes 
In which I revelled — ^prairie, wood and lake — 
All artless, careless, ignorant, but free. 
As from those scenes I've struggled on towards fame. 
It seems I've staggered just so far from thee! 
One wave of trial cleared, a dagger shunned — 
A sea of danger passed, and still ahead 
I see an avalanche of weightier cares! 
And had not Curtin proffered that disguise, 
^Tis sure I would have found that peace, ere this 
Which through an open grave, attracts but few; 
But it has passed, and I forgive them all. 
Still later — on inauguration day — 
It pained me that above the shouts of cheer, 
I heard an army shouting, under Scott: 
For the first time to guard their chief elect. 
What have I done? What have I done — alas! 
To wring such venom from my brothers' hearts! 
I feel it in my bosom's aching core — 
Not love of power, or wild ambition's voice 
Was it, that lured me to exalted state; 
I had no wish but greatest good to all. 
For toiling hard to learn what course was right, 

875 



52 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

And thinking I had found it, it would take. 
Why name it, differing though we may — ^a crime? 
Some, who with reeking clutch would rend away 
These hallowed temples — altars — ^by the hands 
Of fathers long since dead, so proudly reared — 
By some strange process of the brain, may deem 
'Tis voice of duty bids them bare those palms 
And paint with brother's gore these very walls — 
Bids them launch here the blazing brand, to flash 
Mad devastation forth! With lapping flames 
The records of the past to eat away! — 
Some conscience from within may bid them act : 
Mine tells me, with my trust in freedom's God, 
To watch and pray within these walls, and die — 
If dying, I can leave my country life! 
Well, if for this they'd strike I bent my neck! 
X What glory in a death that brings such life! 
All they who kill me, err in their intent; 
They know me not, and know not what they do 
What object's theirs, I've come too far to halt. 
I've sought for counsel with our greatest men — 
In secret wrestlings I have prayed to God 
For mind to bring this 'proclamation" forth. 

[Rings the bell and black Bob appears. 
Bob, you've a scar burnt in your back I b'lieve; 
Twice you have ventured to that land of chains; 
Among the slaves you've met the well-informed — 
The giant minds, outliving whips and brands: 
The causes, consequences now, at last — 
Of this vast war, the hope of freedom's dawn — 
Our Father up in heaven must direct! 
And as His humble instrument I'll act. 
I've talked with white folks. Bob, I'd talk with black; 
Now, listen! Should I by to-morrow night 

276 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 58 

Proclaim on paper every chattel free, 
On master as on slave, how will it act? 
Don't be afraid, but tell me what you think! 
Be quick, my boy, before the Cabinet come. 

Bob. — Oh Massa Linkum, dis is mose too much! 
De President to ax advice of Bob! 
Well ef I muss, I'm boun' I spose I muss! 

Lin. (gently pushing Boh into a chair)— 
Come Bob, sit down, and strike right at the root! 

Bob. — ^I'U tell yer what I know es straight es shot 
Wall den, in the fust place, secontly, sar: 
De blacks, dey was dey cause of dis yer war! 
De quincequences of it thirdly sar 
WiU be to cause dese cuUured folks to fite 
If dey are backed up by yer honer's oaf; 
And when dey come aroun de Union camp, 
Der soldiers do not dribe dem off like sheep; 
Dey tink so long as dey're acknowledged slaves. 
An driven from our line, dey ain't much use: — 
Fendin de picaninnies — ^hoein' de rice, 
Dey hear about de fitin goin' on. 
An for the jubilashun wait an wait! 
Oh Massa! when dat proclamation cums — 
Den gosh a mity! won't de niggers rush? 

Lin. — ^Well, Bob, now tell me, if they're once set free. 
Will they like fiends to massacre resort? 
And kill, and wrong the innocent at home? 

Bob. — Ah Massa! Massa! Sure dat ye don't believe! 
Dey've suffered much, but dat dey wouldn't do! 
Beneaf der scars and bruises, sar, dey've hearts — 
De whites might do it ef they'd borne so much — 
Not many darkies cherish up revenge. 

Lin. — ^This is a confirmation I have sought. 
Bob, I've known you long, too, have helped you some; 

«77 



54 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

I want the promises of all the slaves, 

By meetings held throughout the furthest south, 

That lawlessness and murder shall not be; 

Then by such proclamation I can stand, 

As by my conscience and the world approved; 

Through Douglas and the rest, you'll promise that? 

Bob. — ^For you dey'd do dat, ef dey*s never free. 

[Bell rings. 

Lin. — Attend the bell ; report me matters soon. 

[Bob shows in Captain Stoddard. 

Lin. — ^Ah Captain. Yes; I sent for you last night — 
Friend Pearsley got my promise of your aid, 
And with no questioning Stanton gave consent. 
I b'lieve you*re posted up about the work — 

I know that he is running some great risk. 
And know *tis for his country, and for me — 
In private, give him ev'ry aid he needs. 
Are Milly and the babies well at home? 

Capt. — ^AU well — at least they were all well last week. 

Lin. — ^Do you remember Bob? Bob, here! Look here! 

[Bob shows himself. 

Capt. S. — ^Ah, Robert, is that you? You don't know me? 

Bob. (overjoyed)— Goodness grashus! Massa Stoddard. 
Is dat you? 
I kinder thort I knew you — I declar. 
But 'pears you're twice as big; and den dat suit? 

Capt. — ^Bob, do you scrape the cat-gut any more? 
Bob. — ^Dun got no time; I've laid der fiddle by. 
Lin. — ^You're waiting for the jubilorum. Bob— 
We'll murder music when this war is o'er. 

Bob. — Oh, gemmen, when dat happy day arrives 

Lin. See, Bob, you'll serve the captain any time. 

Bob. — ^I understan': I'll serve him like a book. 

878 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 55 

Stoddard {cisidey preparing to leave) — ^The great and lowly 
are to him alike, 
How simple, yet how God-like. What a man. [Exit. 

BoB-(jboking intently at the Captain) — 
Sakes alive, what's de matter wid him now? 
Gone sure he's got de milyatory cramp. 

End of Scene First, Act Third. 



Act III. — Scene II. 

Scene — Bar- Room in outskirts of Washington, with Pearsley, 

Armstrong, and Capt. Stoddard. 

Pearsley. — For what I know this country may be free; 
I sometimes think we're far too free, I sw — ^I guess. 
This Washington's a gallows hole at best; 
/ swow tu cats, if I but had my say, 
I'd sift a few chaps out, and let her sink; 
**01d Abe" was far tu honest tu cum here, 
I know'd it, felt it, told him so at fust; 
The party that elected him are mad — 
Or sum of them at least — ^I won't say all — 
Fur not gwine blind, nigger wool and lip; 
And cause he was elected, don't yer see? 
The '"Cops" are mad, as mad as they can be. 
The "Grey backs" they are madder than the rest 
Because we've got a man tu put them thro'. 
They cannot buy or sell "Old Abe," that's so: 
Wherever duty pints he's sure to go : 
They're coaxing at him this way, swearing that. 
But there he stans, as true as my old hat! 

Armstrong. — What's all this proclamation fuss about 
The papers are a harpin' on each day? 

279 



56 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

Pearslet. -Now youVe got me, but Stoddard's posted up 
He'll make the matter plain as day tu both. 

Stodd. — ^Well, gentlemen, you see the facts are these: 
These human cattle that the rebels own, 
Tho' not quite safe with guns can use the spade. 
Hoe, plough, and reap, and build intrenchments, too, 
Can care for things at home, whilst rebels fight; 
Some think, if Lincoln says these slaves are free, 
'Twould much reduce our enemies, you see. 
And want him to proclaim them free as air. 

ARM.-Why don't he do it? Sure the thing is fair! 

Stodd. — ^Yes, fair. But would the Southerns let them go? 
They wouldn't heed his proclamation that (snaps his fingers.) 
And then, he's hoped to win them back again 
By giving time to still lay down their arms. 
You'll see, when time and patience have expired. 
The wish'd-for proclamation coming forth! 

Pearslet. — ^That's good; I'd free 'em, let 'em fight» 
I would. But say, I meant tu ask the thing before : 
What think you really brought this war about : 
Till it began wasn't abolition scarce? 

Stodd. — ^Just so; munbered scarce a Corporal's guard. 
But men in Congress told the jealous South — 
Too willing to believe — ^that you and I, 
And all who voted not with them, were such, 
But abolition en'mies to the South. 
The sympathizing Northern Press arose, 
Gave colunm after colunm but to prove 
Oiur ev'ry act and wish but showed intent 
To hurt and injure all our Southern friends; 
They taught and wrote in Press and Congress thus. 
And from such sources came such seeming facts, 
That masters, maddened at the seeming wrong, 
After long years of frenzy thus acquired, 

280 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 57 

Most falsely leaning on a rotten strength, 

The Omniscient power above forgot! 

O'er shackles, chains, and tears their rights upheld. 

And falsely dreamed that God would bless their cause, 

I tell you both, I tell the wond'ring world. 

That speaking, writing, teaching have done more 

To stir and fire the jealous Southern heart 

Than any real act that both had given: 

From such false teaching sprang this cursed war. 

They'd called "Old Abe" an Abolitionist, see, 

Thro' Congress and these Northern hireling sheets. 

Swore he would set their shackled millions free — 

Seek ev'ry cause to aggravate the South, 

Till hoof and horns, tail, spear, and all, they saw 

A devil, and would curse him ever more. 

Pearslet — ^Well, Stoddard, since you speak I believe you're 
right! 
Long, long I've known just what Old Abe believed. 
How has he been belied and they deceived. 
I — ^blast that swow — ^if he could clasp them all. 
He would have hugged all colours, great and small! 

Arm. — ^We'U own one thing, these"grey back" chaps can 
fight. 
However wrong, they've got the pluck at least! 

Stodd. — ^Ah, there you're right! and were they right as you. 
No human power their valour could subdue : 
Divinity will shape the end, till right 
Above all error, yet shall show its might! 
(To Pearsley) But to the business that brought us here: 
Art still determined on your scheme, old boy? 
It's dangerous work, but if you still insist, 
We'll straightforth lay our plans to give you aid. 
We know the "lodge" room where the circle meet, 
Whilst you the password, grip, and summons have. 

281 



58 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

Pearsley, — ^Im boun' to try the thing,, you see! that's so;: 
I'll go as far as I kin go, on oath; 
I mean a white man's oath, some one must do't — 
I spec thar'll be a row, I'll bet a fite, 
I'll try; they can't do more 'an rub me out; 
I want yer near at hand, and when I give a yell 
Just take it as a hint somebody's hit! 

Stodd. — ^I'm staying in the city just for this; 
And soon as you are safe I'm off to work. 

Pearsley — Wall, Cap'n everything is fixed, I b'lieve; 
But Armstrong says yer wife has writ a song 
An' sent it on; that lifts a fellow's heart! 
If 'taint too much trouble, Cap'n before you go. 
Jist trill a verse or so, 'twill do us good. 

Stodd. — ^Yes, wife, dear wife! she sends me good advice; 
It's like herself all bravery, truth, and love. 
I cannot sing it right, but I will try! 

Pearsley. — ^Ah, thankee, Cap'n, don't know how it is. 
But seems tu me, that music gives tu words 
A truer aim, tu make em hit the mark. 
Sum strains but make us sink, and sum to rise. 
With grief now down, with joy now to the skies! 
Sing, Cap'n, sing, if we can find the key 
We'll help you thro' the chorus tu, yer see. 

[Stoddard sings^ 



"Loyal Wife to Her Husband." 

song and chorus 

Chorus — Stand my husband by our banner. 

Face the foremost rebel foe; 
Where your brothers battle fiercest, 
There, my darling, bravely go. 

282 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 59 

I am weeping mom and ev'ning, 

Dreading what thy fate might be; 
Still with home and country ruined 

What were life and love to me? 

(Chorus.) 

With our infant to my bosom, 

Our united hands on high; 
We will plead with God to shield thee: 

Turn each bullet harmless by! 

(Chorus.) 

Who could clasp a shrinking craven 

To a wife's devoted heart; 
Or divide with him its treasures, 

Who essayed the coward's part? 

(Chorus.) 

Battle, then, tho' death may call thee 
From these arms till time's no more; 

I will join thee — true and loyal — 
On the bright unchanging shore. 

(Chorus.) 

Pearslet — ^Waal, thankee, Cap'n, thankee, thar she's rite! 
She cudn't luv a chap that wudn't fite! 
It's so, just any way yer cook it up — 
A coward is a dirty on'ry pup. 
It must be fine tu hev a wife like that! — 
'T would ile the springs of anything you'se at! — 
I've sometimes had a noshun to hitch up — 
If I live through, I think I'll taste the cup. 
On Sangamon's banks my Susannah stands, 
With pouting lips, a wavin ov her hands! 

[Smacks his lips and hugs himself. 

Stodd. — ^Be to a wife as to your country, true. 
And, Pearsley, as a husband you will do! 

288 



60 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

Pearsley. — ^Thar Cap*n, thar now, don't begin on that — 
Now jis for blarney, yer can take the hat! 

Arm. — ^I am no judge, but thank you for the song. 

Stodd. — ^You're welcome boys; and now I'll move along; 
All's fixed, we know the place, the night, the hour. 
If the cry is raised you'll find me with a power. 

Pearsley. — ^AU right; I'll take my part as Col. Trump, 
Yer watch ter see which way the cat'll jump. 

End of Scene II, Act III. 

Act ni. — Scene HI. 
Comer of an Alley , Washington: Assassins in consultation. 

IsT AssAS. — Come closer, boys, what's on the docket now? 

2nd Assas. — ^Thar's nothing bloody goin', jist a talk; 
Things doesn't move so smoothly as they ought, 
Lee and his generals are too dirty far. 
To finish up this cussed nigger war. 
They will not countenance at all, they say. 
The plans we've laid to surely win the day — 
Refuse ter pay fer wipin' out these Yanks, 
And give us cusses, 'stead of honest thanks! 

IsT R. — ^Now, Slinkey, do you tell me that's the play? 
My time is up, I'll jine the Yanks straitway! 

2nd R. — ^Now hold a bit axid hold yer coward tongue! 
A privit puss is raised tu meet our case. 
An tho' the thing smells bad the pay is good. 

IsT R. — ^Fust, last, an all the time, I work fur pay — 
If they've "the ready needful," then I'll stay! 

2nd R. — ^Wall, 'mongst us all I guess its understood. 
We work for money, not the public good! 
But 'side from pay our matters don't move right. 
An that is why we're meetin' here to-night. 

284 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 61 

Bill Johnsing and his Greek fire has been took — 
His syfurs read jist like a last year's book; 
Whilst our own lodge, an one at Baltimore, 
Are all — ^throughout the north — of eighty-four — 
Who eiun tu dots for usin' fire an knife, 
Jis fur abbreviatin' Yankee life. 

3rd R. — ^The offer's good fur snuffin Lincoln's wick: 
The South will think it but a cruel trick 

2nd R. — Ah! on that point I wish ter drop a word, 
"Three times an out," yer know is allers heard; 
So oft has fortin' favored that lank cuss, 
Thar's spies about us, an thar'll be a muss; 
'Tis spicioned that a secret guard is set, 
A watchin' us, we'll foil the niggers yet! 

Pearsley {showing himself round the comer)— 
Maybe, an may be not, ole greaser ha! 

2nd R. {aside) — 'Tis true thar's been some dust put on 
oiu* springs. 

Pearslet. — ^I rather guess they'd hardly do sich things. 

3rd R {aside) — Well, spies or not, they're far too dumb for 
us. 
An at the serenade I'll try and end ther fuss. 

Pearslet {shomng a pistol) — Skeersely, I think I hear this 
critter say — 

IsT R. — ^I cum up last night with my secret dots — 
And here are news will make some people wink. 

3d R {alarmed) — ^Thar's some one prowlin' round, quick 
come this way! 
[Rebels leave in haste, while Pearsley and Armstrong consults 

Pearslet. — ^I'm jist so dumb that paper I must have — 
It must be did! Now yer snuff Slinkey's wick! 
I'll plum that other, so he'll never kick! 
Now mind your eye, and quick let fly ! 

[Both fire f and Armstrong leaves and returns with the papers^ 

285 



62 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

Arm. — How number three made tracks! We've killed 
enough — 
I wonder now if Lincoln's wick they'll snuff? 

Pearslet. — ^I swow tu cats, I didn't like tu shoot: 
I'll keep a good look-out, read the items loud; 
Jist glance it o'er — I want ter twig ther heds! 
So, so superb, the cat's agoin tu jump. 

Arm. — "On Tuesday next, at 6, the Rebel Ram 
(The Merrimac) goes down to Fort Monroe." 

Pearslet. — ^Horn-spoons and forks, I'll give old Welles 
the tip: 

They'll go and let the "little cheese-box"* slip: 
Arm. — ^An here's a lot about the "K.G.C's." 

Pearslet. — ^Well, dun, we've gone and bagged a nest of 
fleas! 
All 'bacca for the pipe of Col. Trump: 

Quick here, there comes a party on a jump. \Exeunt. 

End of Scene Third, Act Third. 

[The following may be played or not.] 

Act III. — Scene IV. 
Scene — Ante-room to Lodge of the K. G. C'«. 
Pearslet {aliaa Col. Trump, in disguise] 



Soap suds and celery, I swow tu dogs! 

In sich a suit tu peas what you are not; 

(Looks at himself) Dang my brass buttons if this ain't a fit; 

Let me get in there, we'll see who is trump. 

Wade on old Pearsley if you're squeezed a bit. 

But stay, I'll practice colonel just a piff. 

(Struts about) That's hunkey Col. Trump of the C. S. A.— 

The fourteenth Georgy, and division K. — 

[Looking at paper. 

*So the first American Monitor was called. 

286 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 6S 

Jist SO, that's what that covey's papers say; 

A job might happen, I'll take in my tools. 

[Secretes his knife and revolver. 

And here's for it now, a stiff upper lip! 

I think that'll do, so let her rip. 

(JFour men armed with swords come out and address him.) 
Guard — "The path is narrow, rough, and drear — 
And none hut brave men enter here.'* 

[They seize him roughly and enter. 

{Scene opens disclosing Lodge-room of the ** Knights of the Golden 
Circle,** draped in blacky with skeleton lettered *Vld Abe,** 
hung by the neck, paraphernalia, officers, members, etc.) 
President. — ^Attend, brave knights of chivalry and right, 

In majesty becoming sons of light; 

Aware what dest'nies to your acts belong. 

My brothers make our circle long and strong; 

Look forth and say, if to our sacred cause 

Spy or traitor bows, let my brothers pause! 

[They look and shake their heads. 

So far 'tis well, an humble suppliant waits — 

A native of the mighty Southern States: 

In arms, and fighting for a blessed rule. 

Whose deeds our children's sons may learn at school. 

It is not well in private scenes to pry, 

A few prime tests, and pass him quickly by. 

With due precaution let the brave appear. 

For only such as they, can enter here. 

(Blindfolded, with a sword at his breast, they commence the cere- 
mony of initiation, a blue light burning in the centre. Thirty- 
six knights in squads of twelve, six facing six, cross their 
lances, forming an archway, beneath which the novice wends 
his way, an executioner moves along on either side, present- 
ing towards him the points of drawn swords, as he is ques- 

287 



64 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM UNCOLN 

tioned between the squads, by the Grand Knight^ and finaUy 
by the President.) 
Grand K, — ^Are you for Southern rights and Southern 

laws? 
Pearslby- — ^My Lord» you know I am, have done this stuff. 
Grand K (at the next squad) — ^And by all means, would you 

secure this end? 
Pearsley. — ^I'm not a jackass — don't you know me well? 
And all I know, do you suppose I'll tell ? 

[Some object to his answer. 
Member. — ^Are such replies as that to pass, my Lord? 
I hold such jesting out of order here! 
Pearsley. — ^And when yer hold, yer'd better hold yer 
tongue! 

]pne of the executioners, at a sign, pricks him. 
All right: Ifeel the pint, so put me through! 

Grand K. — ^You see his cut, we know the thing is right. 
He'll reach the test; we've twenty more to-night. 

[Pearsley passes and is questioned again by the same. 
Grand K. — On oath, do you most solemnly believe 
That our most sacred object to achieve, 
'Tis necessary Lincoln should be killed? 

Pearsley. — Oh, now, you talk of claret bein' spilled, 
I'm in; but on this point will put it flat. 
Your hired assassins must attend to that! 

Grand K. — ^Isee you'll do, and well are christened Trump — 
We'll put him through, and take him in the lump. 

[Passes on, and is questioned by the President. 
Pres. — Do you on oath, as bom a Southern man. 
Approve, uphold, our latest solemn plan 
Of spreading death by poison, fire and knife. 
Thro' all the gathering haunts of Northern life? 
Of burning churches, theatres, and boats. 
And cutting all the cussed Yankee throats? 

288 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 85 

Pearsley {pausing a moment) — ^You've got me foul: you 
put it rather thick: 

When I'm tu hum, I'm called a regular brick; 

But as tu pison, cuttin' throats, an' such, 

I think, Sir Knight, you're askin' rather much. 

[Reaches under his coat 

I never was a murderer or thief, 

And never will be, jest to make things brief. 

{Draws his revolver and knife, and rushes to the door, three men 
who attack him are wounded, he is slightly hurt, biit kills 
two as — rushing to the door and looking back — he exclaims: 

*Tm Pearsley, an' you'll find my mark on sum." 

End of Act Third. 

Act IV — Scene I. 

Room in White House, Washington. 

Lin (Solus). — ^There gathered, oh my country, at thy birth. 
Such god-like relics of time's grandest wrecks. 
As fired by Freedom, fresh baptized in blood : 
Tried by such hearts as only great minds moved : 
Bless'd by Jehovah's unmistakened smile: 
That thou dost seem to hold the germs of all. 
Bound by a new world's throbbings to be free. 
And here alone, not dropt to party ears 
For orators to build new speeches on, 
I'd offer hope, and life, and all, to save 
From these o'erwhelming waves of strife and blood. 
Thy scarred and battered members for that time, 
When in the simshine ever following storms. 
No more the shadow of a living slave 
Shall cast its blotch of infamy and shame! 
Nor from the block be wives and children sold, 

289 



66 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

Beneath the flaunting of thy freedom's flag; 

And chattels, modelled in both form and tint. 

To masters, rather than reputed sires. 

Shall shrink no more from the accursed lash, 

Or blood-hounds reek their fangs on fugitives 

Through Freedom's realms, who but that freedom seek! 

Then one by one, though hallowed altars fall, 

And liberty her red libation yields. 

Till martyred millions to its crimson flood 

Give every drop, to drench their homes in gore! 

Though one by one, upon our honoured walls, 

The watch fires of our Nation pale and die — 

The planks and hull of our ^'old ship of state" 

Spread bleached, and rotting, on some trait'rous sands: 

Still truth, unsuUied truth, eternal truth. 

From darkness, wreck — ^from blood and death shall bend» 

And write consistency in words of fire! 

I read upon the shaft that cuts the clouds, 

Liberty, Freedom, Equality to all — 

The sod o'er its foundation thrown aside, 

I on some crumbling stones, as plainly read. 

Tyranny, bondage, cruelty, and crime! 

Oh God! If purging, washing out with blood. 

Cementing with it granites, where these blocks 

Dissolve by tears, and foul injustice wrought. 

Will let the marr'd and mangled column stand. 

Oh! let it run, and that the only price, 

'Till rivulets from patriot bosoms oozed. 

Shall redden all Columbia's pleasant fields! 

How have I prayed, and wept, and wept and prayed. 

And felt the blood that from my brothers well'd. 

Forever bubbling from my own torn heart, 

Till it doth seem of resolution bleached. 

And childish weakness has sapped out the strength, 

290 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 67 

Or what I fancied strength, in its weak cells. 

[The bell rings. 
I — ^but strength! the bell, none shall see me thus. 

[Enfer servant. 
Servant — ^A sing'lar man, who seems to force his way 
And having dogg'd me up, will not hear no! 
Fearsley (crowding past) — ^I guess not, hoss, "Old Abe'* 
and I are friends. 
[Servant tries to push him back. Lincoln motions to let him alone. 
Here! you get eout! I know him like a book; 
How are you, Abraham? 
{To ihe Servant) — Get out, you skunk. 
(To his dog who growls) — Shut pan yeou dorg, he isn't worth a 

growl. 
[Exit Servant. Looking back Pearsley modifies his disguise and 
Lincoln takes him by the hand.) 
Lincoln — ^Well, welcome, welcome, any way you come! 
Old comrade, how do matters move with you? 

Fearsley — ^Jest so so, Abe, tu get here was the thing; 
By playin' fool, my whisperings I bring; 
I've entered, seen, an heam, an now disclose. 
The dev'lish acts those K. G. C.'s propose; 
My plotting took, and without taldng oath 
I've seen the bottom of their hellish acts. 
As Colonel Trump, with well worn suit of gray, 
I with such vengeful ardour entered in. 
They tho't it nonsense to impose a test. 
Beyond the door oath, any man could swear 
Who knows what good thar still is left the South, 
But tu the pint, I soon must be away; 
I yet must meet a Southern Scout at nine! 
What Cam'ron told you was about the thing; 
*Bout bumin' churches, theatres, and sich — 

[Throws dovm a paper. 

291 



68 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

But there's the items, read em when you've time. 

To shoot you down, arrangements had been made 

For 12th of April, at the Serenade; 

It's given up, the feller had tu leave, (aside) 

(I helped him off,) its but a short reprieve. 

What think you of the plot, how will it work? 

Lin. — ^What think I? mad, misguided, misled men! 
I fain would serve them all, both friends and foes; 
They know me not, but 'tis not by the South — 
Thou sayest right — these hellish plots are hatched; 
They know I'd save them, serve them too. 
Could I but save my country, with them all. 
But still, at heart, I do not seem to fear. 
Enough; on what you've said I'll surely act. 

[Pearsley preparing to leaoe^ 
They knew you not in passing through the hall? 

Pearsley — Not one, nor hev they ever guessed, I trow; 
Of all my suits, this suits me best, you think? 
Wal, good-bye Abe; I'll fetch 'roun' once'n a while. 

Lin. — ^My toiling, trusting, more than friend, good-bye. 

[Pearsley leading his dog ovt is heard to say: 

Pearsley — ^Wall now, I swow tu kittens, Abe's a trump. 

End of Scene Firsts Act Fourth. 

Act IV. — Scene IL 

Oviside the Camp of Union Army, preparations are made 

for shooting a soldier. 

Col. Stoddard (to his men) — 'Tis doubtless law this,, 
shooting down a boy: 
They say such acts are mercies under mask; 
I like not masks (shaking his head); I'd let the young one live- 
My George is 'bout his age. "Tis hard I say to cut him off, 

292 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 69 

When scarcely wean'd from home! 
His curls still savour of a mother's hand — 
Her parting kiss upon his whitened brow 
Seems burning yet — ^I'd rule for just one hour — 
The time is drawing nigh; 'tis cruel this. 
'Twas hinted that a scape-goat would be found, 
Or something to appease this hungry rule. 

[The drum is heard. 
But hark! the time is up! There goes his knelL 

[John Hanks J still disguised as Pearsley, rushes in. 

Hanks. — ^Blue Bird's here! Tte captain! — 
Where's General Grant? (flies vnldly about.) 
Help raise a muss! I've most important news; 
This boy must live, or Pearsley must peg out. 
Hurra! I say, drum up the General quick! 
I have no straps; but now I'll have a say. 

[The Oeneral coming in. 

Grant (to soldiers) — ^Fall back there! 
Halt! Please let this scout advance. 

Pearsley (coming forward). — ^Your pardon, General, but 
a moment's time. 
I have no order, no written order here. 
But in God's name, (hands a card^) I beg you pause a while! 
Did you but know of what I feel assured. 
You'd stay this execution for an hour. 

Grant (looking at the card). — ^Ah, Pearsley. Yes, I've 
heard of you before. 
But this — quite right — can have no bearing now, 
The only pow'r to save is far away. 
Stem pity reek'd in tears, may rend his heart, 
Still with the soldier duty must control. 
I'd yield a full year's pay — aye, yield this sword 
To let this young heart with its hopes beat on! 

[Advancing and halting at the place of execution. 

298 



70 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM UNCOLN 

The truest aim in such is kindest act: 

Be firm and circumspect, yet kind — ^but stay! 

[Loud shovis are heard as a horseman seen coming 
In wild tornado haste, a horseman comes — 
Hold! Beyond a carriage too, at similar speed! 
Oh! This is Randolph — ^the equipage too — 
I sure should know — ^the President, at last! 
He*s saved — ^thank God! 

{Messenger hands a letter^ which^ whilst the cry^ ^' He^s swoedy^ 
is wildly shouted on all sides^ Colonel Stoddard, the Gen- 
eraVs aid, reads aloud at his order , The following is a copy, 
penned en route , and despatched by courier.) 
(The letter to General U. S. Grant, commanding, &c., &c.) 

My Dear General — 
In case I do not reach you in person, take this order, to 
spare the life of the Sentinel, William Brownley, who was con- 
victed of falling asleep on duty; at any rate I shall not be far 
away when this reaches you. — ^I am most kindly and truly, 

A. Lincoln. 
\Lincoln coming up is received with a perfect ovation. 
Fearsley {aside to soldiers}— I did the business right. 

Abe comes in time. 
Lin. {modestly disregarding any applause). — ^A trifle is the 
act, I claim no meed! 
If in result most glorious, it is well; 
Let me with you our grateful thanks unite : 
How many life-beats fresh as this young man's 
Will cease to throb, e'er this dread struggle ends! 
Oh, would some simple word of mine could stay 
Like this, the end of each doom'd shaft of death! 
I'd see the lad, and take him by the hand. 
Grant. — ^Ah sure, it should be so, bring up the boy! 
Lin. — ^Your life is spared, my boy, now use it well! 
So, never mind, you need not try to speak; 

294 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 71 

I know again at such a post as that, 
Which nearly cost your life, you will not sleep, 
And by your look — ^that beaming of the eye — 
I look for future deeds to more than pay 

{To the soldiers) — My boys, keep taunt and taint from this 
young lad 
I've ridden, striven, thus to-day, to save. 

Grant (pointing to Pear shy) — ^I've here another hero to 
present. 
What he has done, we*ll not pass idly by. 

Lin. (a^^)— (What! Hanks again! 
Without his ruse, ere this the boy had died.) 
My old friend Pearsley here — 
How turned this up? 

Pearslet. — Waal, Abe, my man, I care not if you know! 
I came like you, to save the sentinel's life — 
We've done sich things as this in days gone by; 
I knew your ev'ry step was dogg'd to death 
By Orfis-seekin' skunks, an' sich like trash. 
An fearin' arter all you mite be late, 
I pulled some wool to shut the General's eyes. 

[The lad rashes to thank him. 
Thar, don't du that; I'm glad your're living, true. 
But I was wonct a boy, an so war he : 

[Pointing to Lincoln. 
Just show 'em in the future what you'll be ; 
I have a call to make; good-bye, good-bye! 

[Shakes hands with the boy, Lincoln^ Grants &c., and starts. 
Grant (to the soldiers). — ^Three cheers for Pearsley, every 
"boy in blue!" [AU cheer. 

Our morning duties take a pleasant turn. 

[Pointing to Lincoln. 
How proud we all should be of such a friend. 

[Caps are svmng, and the air is filled with huzzas. 

295 



79 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

Report this squad at quarters A. Return! 

(Grant falls back for Lincoln^ who insists upon following him 

with the lad's arm in his. Cheers and shouts arise^ om 

curtain drops the soldiers file off.) 

End of Scene II. Act IV. 

Act IV. — Scene III. 

Cabinel'Rooms White House. Messrs. Seward, Sumner, 

Cameron, and Greeley, in waiting. 

Greeley. — Sumner, how takes the plan, youVe broken it? 
These makers of our masters, open-eared, 
Await the startling summons from his pen, 
That striking off their chains shall arm a host! 
The people north will not be pacified — 
No other than a Lincoln could withhold 
The fiat that his party wills so long; 
'Tis strange that I the man have so misjudged! 
I cannot make him out! 

Sumner. — ^Ah, gentlemen, long since had but the edict fell 
Transforming driven enemies to troops, 
A half million to our "boys in blue,'* 
Tho' black, to fight as never Roman fought. 
It sure had riven rebeldom in twain! 
Set free its slaves, its system could not stand; 
How could the body work without a hand? 
But to the point — ^your visit is in vain; 
Unmoved by all combined, he still will take 
The even tenor of his careful way. 
Unending arguments IVe often used, 
In all the eloquence my soul could shape. 
But to awaken arguments more deep, 
Or melancholy joke, as it might be — 

296 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM UNCOLN 78 

Beneath his ev'ry joke there seems a tear; — 
'Tis useless, but I wish the man would come. 

Greeley. — ^What thinks he of the meeting in New York? 
The votes and resolutions offer'd there? 
Does he forget what party placed him here? 

Sum. — ^Forget? Has that man power to forget? 
If having it in fullest strength displayed, 
An army of reminders he ne'er lacks! 

Greeley. — ^IVe charged a bomb, expressly for his ear, 
And long to touch the fuse, and see the shock! 

Seward. — ^Well touch, but guard against a sure recoil, 
Replies seem crowding others from his tongue 
So fast (JAncoln is heard) — ^there's Lincoln now, just draw him 
mild. [Enters Lincoln shaking hands. 

Lincoln. — ^Ah! Sunmer, Greeley, Seward, time once was 
I'd give each friendly hand a shake. 
And deem it "no great shakes" — ^another joke! — 
I thought my jokes too deeply frozen up 
For even friendship's glowing warmth to thaw; 
Well, who fires first? let's have the biggest gun; 
Suppose you empty all your muzzles into one : 
Then in one common aim make common fire — 
Be capped and primed, and sure you fizzle not; 
In candour gentlemen, I know your mark; 
You radicals like hungry wolves in packs. 
For months my ev'ry step have dogged, 
With very nightmares even crammed my sleep; 
None but my country's drudgery I'll do; 
Your votes but made me President of aJll — 
The slave than President, would be more apt; — 
Some think, perhaps, that I've turned Democrat, 
That honied words will make me grind their axe; 
And "Cops,"* in meek committee sally forth. 

^Copperheads, northern friends of the South. 

«97 



74 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

Beyond what it is just, I'll favour none — 

From duty's line I will not swerve an inch, 

For all the gold our treasury may hold! 

Or more — ^to save my life a single hour. 

YouVe coaxed, and ordered, flattered, swore and urged. 

And would have forced to foul miscarriage oft, 

Hope long in travail, to some monstrous birth! 

Not prematurely now, but full timed, she bears 

This freedom's proclamation child. 

[Showing his proclamation^ 

Sum. — ^Saved! saved! 

Greeley. — ^I thought 'twould come. 

[In great excttemerU all congratulate. 

Lin. — Go spread the news! bid lightning do her work. 
And to our land emancipation give; 
Affix, prefix, no paragraph to say 
'Twas coaxed, or forced or bargained from my pen! 
Now Heaven knows I've done what I thought right! 
If but my country's bleeding heart it heals, 
'Twill more than pay each dreadful pang it cost. 

Seward. — ^We will not say a word, though coining late. 
We know and love the hand from which it sprung. 
What we'd to say, were useless now if said — 
You've guessed our errand well — 

Greeley — ^But Seward here (pointing). 

Seward. — 'Tis Cameron sure you mean! 

Cam. — ^Intent on argument I came, I'll shrink not back! 
Yet deem it better that the charge is drawn. 
I wish the "babe" had found an earlier birth. 
But coming late, we'll nurse it, tend it well. 
(Black Bob is seen outside the hall-door, corwersing sotto voce 
with Mrs. Brownley, mother of the Sentinel.) 

Woman {trying to get past) — ^Pray, let me in I know not 
what you say! 

298 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 75 

Bob. — Jist hold a bit» 'pears thar's a sumfin' bom; 
Hush! didn't Cam'ron say, dey'd nuss de chile; 
I'm boun', it 'pears dat gemman's wife should know. 
(Woman trying to get past}—3isi gib poor Massa Abe a breavin 
spell! 

[Lincoln^ s friends shaking hands retire by another door. 
Woman- What's that you call the child? me let it breathe! 
Lin. — Ah, peace, peace! when shall I again know peace? 
Bob. — ^I guess dat dat'll do, I'd better slope. 

[Shows in Mrs. Broumley and retires. 
Lin. (aside) — So soon! ah woman, come this way and take 

a chair. 
Mrs. B. (mistaking Mr. LincoMs simplicity}— TSjiid Sir, 

if right, is Mr. Lincoln in? 
Lin. (oMde}—! should be he, sometimes I think I'm not; 
I'm Mr. Lincoln, can I serve you friend? 
Mrs. B. (on her knees}— ^y Lord, your pardon! how could 

I mistake? 
Lin. — Of Him you speak we have but One, arise! 

[Raising her. 
Mrs. B. — ^At Petersburg my boy, poor William fell. 
E'er since his father's death I've leaned on him ; ; 
His father, sir, had fought at Lundy's Lane, 
And kindling at the mem'ry of his tales. 
When first the drum and fife passed by our door, 
I told poor William of his father's deeds. 
And bid him follow up the "Stars and Stripes!" 
He 'listed — ^how he looked all dressed in blue! 
We made his regiment a flag, they left; 
I'm seventy now; he used to send his pay! 
Last week 'twas hinted, that for such as me 
Our Bedlam poorhouse would do very well. 
Lin. (startled) — ^Pauper? Can soldier's widows be such 
here? 

299 



76 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM UNCOLN 

No! Not while I've one single cent to give. 

Nor shall a Union soldier's mother want 

Whilst I can hold a pen, or shape a law. 

I know, I've learned such cruel tales by heart. 

(Owes a purse.) 'Twill do you much more good than me, 

take that. 
Your tears speak better thanks than softest words; 
For such as you there'll be a fund — ^but stay! 
What is the name? Just give the name in full; 
I keep a list, and read them o'er at times. 
Mrs. B. — ^No shame upon our name! 'tis Brownley sir. 
Lin. (excited) — ^Ah Bradley — ^Brownley — ^William was his 
name? 
Who told you? Did th^ tell you how he fell? 

[Rings hell and asks for a paper which he reads 
Give me your town, his regiment and all. 
Mrs. B. — 'Tb Yarmouth, sir. Poor William joined the 

8th. 
Lin. (aside) — I dare not break the joy 9 Hwas him I saved! 
There must be some mistake, I think he lives. 

Mrs. B. — ^Lives? Lives, sir, did you say? Oh speak again. 
My boy — my William lives! They said he's shot. 

[Tottering to the door. 
Oh show me! let me see him ere I die. 
LiN. — ^Be calm! Last night the news had reached your 
town, 
I sent the word myself that he was safe. 

[Speaking to his secretary. 
Just now your son is far away from here. 
We'll send for him straightway, you'll see him soon. 
Mrs. B. — Oh thank you! gen'rous noble sir, I'll go. 
Lin. (to his Sec.) This friend will see your every want sup- 
plied. 

800 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 77 

Be calm and hopeful, he will tell you all. 

[Exeunt Sec. and Mrs. B. Bell rings. 
Oh! Oh that bell will be my funeral knell! 

[Servant hands card. 
Ah! Stanton, Butler! attributes of power — 
Yes, show them in. Now heart play bold again. 
Stanton — ^We bring great news, just gathered by the 
way. 
Come forth! be quick, for Richmond now is ours! 

[Bells and cannon are heard. 
I've ordered every bell to ring it forth. 
Lin. (overcome) Thank God! I felt in His good time 
'twould come. 
I'll go: I hear the thousands shout! Thank God! 

[Exeunt all^ 
End of Act Fourth. 

Act V. — ^ScBNB I, 

Room in Mrs. S fs* house; murderers in conclave. 

Booth — ^Do places where unwelcome ears may sip 
Such evidence, as by court distilled 
Would lift us dangling by a piece of hemp. 
Adjoin us anywhere? Without and search! [Parties leave 

I've fancied that the very air about 
Must guard our efforts with unnumbered ears 

[Safety is assured. 
To honest work; each man repeat the oath: 
Stand in a circle, round, and look at me. 
(AU repeat) As we hope or wish in life or death. 
By Bible or religious faith construed. 
We in our secret hearts renounce such hopes, 

•Surratt's 

801 



78 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM UNCOLN 

And call on God to blast our dying wish, 
K what we know, or may know, we reveal 
Of aught that's said, or may be uttered here. 
Concerning, most remotely, Lincoln's death: 
Or others that stem justice may require; 
Or fail to aid by act, or deed, or wish. 
The consunmiation of this sacred work; 
So help us hope in life, or death, or God! 

Booth — ^Art sure? is some one on the watch without? 
(IsT AssAS. (looking out.) — ^Aye, aye, sir; Madam's on the 
stair below.) 

Booth — Short work to-night, but give us your reports. 

Srd Assas. — ^If it's in order, I'll just say my say; 
Rob, all his papers had pulled out tu read. 
When full a dozen Yanks, as I'm alive. 
With clubs and pistols, pitched right into me. 
We ploom'd 'em all but two, when Robby caved; 
Then I took Slinkey, wounded, on my back. 
And carried him, till he gave up the ghost — 

Booth — ^Let that suffice, they got his paper oflf, 
And Robby being killed, killed not his man! 
Now mark me well, if you had, too, been shot. 
You'd got not half you earned (commotion^ but hear me out! 
The man who breathes of matters here like that. 
Or thinks aloud at comer of the street — 
Aye even in the "circle" hints a hint, 
Since that damn'd Yankee's advent t'other night. 
Dies if I stab him to the heart myself ! 
I'd take this matter from the circle's hand. 
(To Srd Assas). — ^Your pardon. Sir, no doubt you suffer'd much. 
But Lincoln, well, survived the serenade. 
And for your wounds, and trouble, you'll be paid. 
(To Uh Assas. and others) — How stands our funds, is every- 
thing in shape? 

8W 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 79 

Are relays for my speedy flight assigned. 
That hitch, or drag, may not by chance occur? 
The nag that should have served in Baltimore 
Will do me now, when once the deed is done; 
Then life and death depends upon the chase. 
When first the public vultures sni£9e blood. 
And old Thad Stevens whistles out his hounds. 
Strive by each act that I have drilled you in 
To turn these hounds upon mistaken scent. 
First have me seen in New York going North, 
Next, shipp'd for Europe in the Scotia^ sure. 
On these plots much of all I hope depends; 
By ev'ry artful scheme turn search all wrong. 

2nd Assas. — ^And if by chance Lincoln goes not out 
Upon the special evening that is named — 

Booth — ^Hell and fiends infernal, do you know me? 
No other work I find till that man dies! 
'Tis almost certain he will go as fixed; 
If not, submissive slave, I wait his wish; 
And be it day or year, I'll know the hour. 
And wait its coming to redeem my oath. 
In case he fails, I'll summon you straightforth. 
Once more — ^this Pearsley — devil, fiend or what — 
In some disguise, will prowl around the place. 
The man who shoots, or stabs, or strangles him. 
On certain proof will get a "thousand" down. 
Is there no way to track the Hoosier out? 
You all have ready weapons I believe. 
How holds the ammunition out? 

6th Assas. — WeVe lots and gaubs of that on hand just 
now. 

Booth — ^Well, now, the filthy stuff bring forth, 
And as I number, give to each his purse. 

[Numbers and the money is given. 

803 



80 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

{ASter a thought) — ^Are any here who believe that there's a 

God? 
If such there be, I bid them now stand forth! 

]PouT men advance. 
The rest can go, let each well keep his oath. 

[Exeunt all hut the f(mr. 
And you believe, that roimd, about, above. 
Within, of all, o'er all, there is a God? [They bow. 

To please a mother, I pretended to — 
(Affected) — ^Ah mother, mother! yes — ^well never mind) 
She was so like, just what a God should be. 
In ev'ry noble act — ^I once believed 
In some great central something, God or soul. 
My brothers too — ^yes, mother, brothers, all — 
Yes, all but me, believed — ^but back — ^not now! 
Well, what I want you see my men, is this : 
Our awful oath with some, may pass for naught! 
I'd have another vow, I'd have you swear 
As you have hope in death, or in thy God, 
To watch these others, as you'd watch a snake — , 
You see, I double each believer's sum: — 



For over all, I take it — ^gold is God — 

Here is a Bible, swear strong, kiss the book! 



[Owes money. 



[They comply. 



And now my pums friends, I'd be alone! 
Each take a different way when you go out. 

[Exeunt. 
Solus — ^I count their hate of Lincoln more than oaths! 
(JLooking at the Bible) — Strange book! 
Thou canst not now shake my resolve; 
Not to thee, but the hand that gave, I've paused before! 
This time, I swear — ^by God or man inspired — 
Thou shalt not make my resolution quail, 

804 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 81 

And shake my will, 'till like a bended reed 

Stript of its true intentions by a blast 

Of filial love, it withers to the root! 

What devil prompted me to bring thee forth? 

Why do I bear thee so within my reach? 

I see; I promised her to keep thee here! — (fo his heart), 

Thy presence brings that sacred image up. 

Till o'er me mem'ry rolls unmeasured waves 

Of love, that madden as I gaze back to't. 

Thee and this bloody work my hands have sought. 

Cannot together rest about this place. 

Just now I'll lock thee somewhere from my sight — 

What if thy precepts she was wont to teach. 

With hand upon my head, and eyes brimful, 

Should prove as true as she believed, and taught! 

Oh why a loving mother's mem'ry damn! — 

My fam'ly and profession curse with shame! 

Cold-blooded murder is unknown to both. 

Shall this frail hand at one stroke do so much? 

Cut off a human life it can't recall? — 

Bring widowhood and orphanage to life. 

Unseal the blighting founts of public shame,, 

And let them in infamy's eternal flood 

Roll back, o'erwhelming all I ever loved? 

Shall I do this— all this? (To the Bible.) Ha, ha!— Well„ 

weU! 
Paper, print, cover, clasp, a simple book: 
What more than last year's almanac art thou? 
Ha, ha! Well, well, I am not conquered yet. 

[Throws down the Bible. 
Lay there, till I have drawn my plans at least! 
Yet will the glorious South be masters here; 
And I, avenger of their direful wrongs, 
The sealer of the second Nero's doom, 

SOS 



82 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

Will hear my name in acclamation borne 
In honour over "Washington" and "Tell/' 
To gain but this I'd make a sea of blood 
And swim it, with the crimson to my lip. 
So, so! I feel myself a man again. 

— Takes up the 
'Twas hardly fair to treat thee thus I own : 
I'll lay you for a season out of reach. [ExiL 

End of Scene First, Act Fifth. 

Act V. — Scene II. 

Scene — Opening on an Alley near Ford's Theatre, Washing- 
ton; little girl crying on a step, when Pearsley comes up. 

Pearsley — ^Ah, young 'un; what's the matter now? Don*t 

cry! 
Girl — ^My pap and mam are sick — we've got no bread! 

Pearsley — ^Is't here about yer hang up, little dear? 
Girl — Just out in Quay Street sir, aside the yard. 
Pearsley (aside) — ^If 'twasn't fur the theatre, an' Abe — 

I swow tu cats I'd go an' see this house — 

To-night I must not leave my post, for gad 

I got a despret hint about this work. 

(To girl}— But here's sum cakes an' crackers, jist fur now; 

Say, what's your daddy's handle — name, I mean? 

Girl — ^It's Robert Findlay, sir; Bob Findlay, up the stairs* 

Pearsley — All right, all right! Jis take this Green-back 
now, 

I kinder guess you need it more'n I — 

Thar, little im, don't cry, I'll fix yer up. 

(Takes off a shawl, and while he is wrapping it about and caress- 
ing her, three ruffians approach from behind, throw a 
blanket over his head, then a rope, and after a desperate 
struggle two of them puU him into the alley.) 

80« 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 88 

3rd Ruff. — ^Thunder an' lightning! now that job'll pay — 
Well, he'll not stand in Wilkes's way to-night. 
We'll see if his old chum is prowlin' round. 
{^Armstrong comes cautiously across at the moment^ and tracks 

them into the alley.) 
Scene opens — Showing through private box in Ford^s Theatre 
where part of the ** American Cousin** is being played^ Mr. 

and Mrs. lAncoln, Major* and Miss^ watching the 

play. 
Lin. — ^Ha, ha! Dundreary beats the cousin there. 
Major — ^In Great Britain that's the greatest part, they 
say. 
iJBoothf with revolver concecded, is seen looking on^ and hisses 

through his teeih: — 
Yes, old gorilla, laugh! your time has come! 
No cut throat Pearsley's here to save you now.) 

Mrs. L. — How dreary poor Dimdreary look'd just now! 
They ought to let him have just one good sneeze. 
{.The play proceeds j as Booth is seen to fire; dropping the pistol^ 
and exclaiming^ *'Sic Semper Tyrannis, " he jumps over 
upon the stage^ falling and wounding himself by catching 
his foot in a flag hung over the box front. Mr. Lincoln 
falling bach . is surrounded by Mrs. L. and companions^ 
who stream in anguish and consternation, and the cry pre- 
vails that the President is shot. Surgeons are called, and 
officers with others gather.) 
Gen Grant — ^Immediately surroimd the house! all haste! 

[The pistol is handed to him. 
And this frail thing has done so vast a wrong : 
Lived there a man with nerve to still that heart! 
Gracious heaven! what will our country do? 

Stanton — ^Dead! dead! they say that Godlike man is dead. 
Better be him, like Ca&sar in his fall, 

'^Rathbone. tHarris. 

807 



^. 



84 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM UNCOLN 

Than be the hunted miscreant who struck — 
I cannot follow — cannot look again! 

Butler — God will'd this blow» to seal his deathless fame! 
{As they start to remaoe the dying Lincoln, another cry is raised 
on all hands that Seward and his son have been kiUed.) 

End of Scene III, Act V. 

Act V. — Scene IV. 

(Stone waU, with trees and hushes^ and open country in distance — 
Stoddard, Pearsley, Armstrong, Brovonley, Blojch Boh, 

Officers, etc., in search.) 

Stoddard — Why think you this his route, I see no signs? 

Pearsley — No signs, no signs! why Cap*n jist look here! 
Why here's his horse's measure to a T. 

2nd Off. — ^Horse's measure, explain yourself, my man! 

Pearsley. — Wa'al, Armstrong, Bob an' I, I swow-ou-ou! 
At Baltimore, jist fastened on this shoe. 
Or fastened off, I'd better say, I guess; 

[Fitting it to the tracks. 
You see it fits the measure to a pin! 

2nd Off. — ^Well, sure enough, he can't be far away. 
Push on my men, make search, he's near at hand! 
I hate to look upon so vile a wretch. 

Pearsley — ^But you knew Lincoln as a public man — 

(weeping). 

Stoddard — We knew him long ago, it matters not — 
I understand, I comprehend your grief — 
It matters not, we have our orders strict. 
We take Booth living, if it can be done. 
Fire not upon him till you hear the word! 
Push on! push on, and follow up the track. 

[Exeunt aU on search. 

808 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 85 

iAs they leavcy a toretched-looking^ half-starved man, limping, 
peers from the bttshes, and gazes on the party.) 
Booth — ^They've tracked me! gods, I see the game is up! 
Gold, stronger than affection, buys one's friends; 
Yet homeless, foodless, countryless, I feel — 
But for this leg, I yet would have a chance. 
The thought but struck me, as I struck the stage. 
Was it not God, who crushed these gritting bones; — 
Some Providence thus cutting off my flight! 

^Looking after his pursuers. 
That devil's shadow, Pearsley, has escaped; 
And were I on that horse's back just now. 
That riderless and uiu^strained they track. 
The sooner might this gath'ring tempest break. 
And smother out this doomed worthless life. 
And launch me into death's untrodden courts 
Beyond the reach of mocking millions' sneers — 
Of being strangled by a common rope! 
As that freed horse goes dashing from me now. 
Go hopes and aspirations ill matured: 
That promised welcome, if I reached but here. 
In isolation changes to a coarse disgust — 
No hand to dress this bruised dragging limb; 
And this the chivalry for which I struck! 
I thought to be an idol — ^hero — ^here : 
Where are the worshippers, of which I dream'd? 

[Two men are seen gazing at some hand bill. 
Now staring at these government rewards. 
Avenger and deliverer — ^to — ^be 
All wounded, starving, sleepless, here I stand — 
Life's golden visions into nightmares turned. 
That waiting not for night come all the day, 
Their demons marshalling on my heart and brain! 
I look to where ambition's finger waved — 

809 



86 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

Perdition absolute and night brood there. 
And crushing though the space that intervenes. 
Dark seething waves of blood and shame, roll on. 
Tearing from me all I ever loved: 
I hear fresh sounds again — ^I'll seek my lair. 

{Bides again f as two men draw near conversing.) 

1st Citizen — ^A himdred thousand dollars, think of that! 

2nd Do. — Waal, thar it is. I think the thing was rights 
Or least I think it had tu be, and war — 

1st Cit. — Think you if we hook him they will come down?* 

2nd. — ^Waal, yeas, I think that Jonathan will fork. 

1st Cit. — ^Then let us try, 'twar this way he was seen. 

[Exeunt both. 

Booth (stepping out and looking around}— 
I know not if 'tis gold or blood they snuff! 
I'd sooner rush to yonder soldiers' arms 
Than let these patriotic traitors win — 
'Tis getting late and I must crawl away; 
Oh for a crust to hush these pangs within! — 
That gnawing at my vitals lap for blood — 
Wounds, disappointment, hunger, thirst — ^then death! 
How soon has all I wished for changed to these! 
But curses on the earth : this air I breathe : 
Aye! curses on Divinity assumed — 
Black curses on my country and my kind! 
Nor food nor consolation, bed or drink. 
They offer, or escape; I curse them all! 
(Selects a big stick for a staff , and begins to hobble off under the 

shadow of the wall.) 
If strength to wield my weapons yet holds out, 
Some more I'll send to settle their account. 

*Meaiis to pay. 

810 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM UNCOLN 87 

On finding my unmounted horse, I fear 

They may return, and take me weakened thus — 

I must have food to manufacture strength. ^xeunt. 

End of Scene IV. 

Act V. — Scene V. 

Scene — Early morning^ old ham and md buildingSy vyith plain 

country in the distance. Officers^ Soldiers^ Pearsley^ Arm- 

strong^ Broionley, and others surrounding the bam. 

Armstrong (sotto voce). — My God, I wish he would give up 
at once! 
(JLooking through a crack) He stands doom'd man, revolver 

in each hand. 
And other arms — a human beast at bay! 
But in defence were we allowed to fire 
Just through this crack, how soon I'd end his pain. 

1st Officer — 'Tis at one's peril if a shot is fired. 

Pearsley — He's but a beast, an' sich will not stan' fire; 
I've got a plan if all else fails tu work. 
He's worse nor wolves, we used tu smoke them out. 

Brownley — ^Poor Lincoln saved my life — I'd give it now 
To catch the murderer of that noble man; 
But if from out the grave his voice could speak. 
He'd plead, he'd pray 'gainst such a cruel act! 
What bum, and by that act a martyr make! 

Pearsley — ^You wrong me, lad ; ne'er fear he's goin' tu bum ; 
I've seen it tried on Injins and on whites, 
Horn spoons an' forks! They'd rather swing than roast. 
They thought they'd got me caged, an chain'd tu — ^ha! 

(musing.) 
Ah! yes; tu think they caught me nappin' so — 
An stole me from my friend. Poor Abe! Poor Abe! (overcome.) 

Sll 



88 TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

SxoDDAtiD — Our friend is right, but let me try a word. 

[Puts his rrumth near an aperture^ 
Lost man! there's not a chance for your escape! 
Although all time cannot your crime excel — 
Our orders are to harm your person not, 
Unless perchance all other measures fail. 
Come forth and stand before a righteous court, 
And force us not to kill you like a dog! 

Booth (from within) — ^What care I for your righteous courts 
or dogs? 
Come one, come all! I go not hence alive! 
I have twelve shots, eight die who enter first. 
IVe killed the greatest of your tribe — come on! 
Come on! I himger — ^thirst for blood — more blood! 

IsT Oppicer — ^Have done with imprecations vile, and 
threats; 
Would you with hope of mercy shed more blood? 
Your skirts are crimson now with precious gore« 
Secure by giving up, some time to pray« 

Booth — ^To pray! Who asks for time to pray? Not I? 
Come on! I'd kill a dozen more and die! 
If I have been deceived IVe earned a name; 
I'd redden up the record yet — advance! 

Pearsley (sotto) — ^Now Captain, let me speak! I'll put it 
strong. 

1st Officer — 'Tis idle; but you have the leave to speak. 

Pearsley — ^Young man, just let me speak! You've got 
the pluck — 
As far as game's consamed, we call you game. 
Brute that you are, you're kinder sorter brave. 
We would not roast brave men like pigs, come out! 
Don't think like hungry fishes to a hook. 
Right at your muzzles we will run our heads. 
Give me my chice, I'll die some other way — 

812 



TRAGEDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 89 

Come out, and if you kill me let it went; 
Remember tho', I shoot you if I like — 
That is, of course, if I hev leave tu fire; 
But this I don't intend to do, jest now — 
Before we'll ventur in, we'll singe you out; 
I tell you hanging's nothing like to fire! 

Booth — ^I know that lovely voice, 'tis Pearsley speaks — 

[Pearsley dodges as a shot is fired. 
Take that, I've got a plenty for some more! 

Pearsley — ^You missed me, young un, tho' the shot was 
good; 
Captain jest fire that bam, and he'll come out! 
I'll bet roast punkin on it, he gives in. 

Stoddard {satto voce) — ^When all else fails, I'll try the plan 
you name! 
{.To Bocth) — ^You've had our promise of no harm; once more — 

I'd take not yours, nor for it sacrifice 
Another life, till so compelled to do — 
All parley ends — ^ten minutes is the most — 
Then if you come not forth, we'll fire the bam! 

[Anoiher shot jrom vnihin strikes near the Officer. 

Booth — ^You've got my answer, kindle up your fire! 

Pearsley (pointing his gun at a crocfc)— Captain, with your 
leave I'll cut his matter short! 
I swow to kits we're losing precious time! 

Officer (courUing the minutes with his tDotch) — 
He's got three minutes, then if not out we'll try your plan 
(JxyuD to Pearsley) — ^But never let him bum! 
All watch and if the flames then move him not. 
Before he suffocates you'll have to shoot! 
{To Booth) — ^Your time is up! we now shall strike the match! 

Pearsley (striking and ikromng in a match as another 
shot is heard) — 
I tell you when the smoke and flames crawl close, 

818 



90 TBA6EDY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

And not 'till then, you'll see him crawling out. 

BnowNiiEY (looking throitgh a crack) — 
Dodge Pearsley! dodge! he's aiming thro' at you! 

[Three shots are heard as Pearsley jumps aside^ 
Pearsley — ^I thank you, boy, he'd like to rub me out! 

[Fire and smoke are now seen through the crevices. 

Brownley — ^My God! I'm 'fraid the madman means to roast! 

(PairUing up) — ^He's on that side now breathing thro' a holet 

Armstrong (looking) — The flames sweep near, he's rushing 

for the door! 
Stoddard — ^Watch close, if he attempts to fire, why shoot. 
(The toretched smoke-begrimsd^ half-starved looking man comes^ 
out with a revolver in one hand and a long knife in the othety 
and seeking where to bestow more of his jive remaining shots ^ 
falls mortally wounded as his pistol goes off in the air.) 
Pearsley — ^I fired tu high, but for the best my lads! 

[They lift him carefully and try to restore him. 
Stoddard — ^The wretched, misled man — ^perhaps 'tis wellt 
Booth — ^I killed — ^kill — ed the gi-ant of them all! 
Armstrong (carefully holding the head of the dying m4in) — 
Poor man! he's mutt'ring of his mother here? 
Pearsley — ^I'U never strike a fallen foe; 
I sw — e — u — ou he's got a pretty face, was full ov pluck! 
I wonder why he shot poor Abe, I do. 
But blood for blood, he will'd it so to be! 
(JBooth gives one long gurgling groan and falls hack dead, as all 
gather around.) 
Pearsley — ^This had tu be, an was I spose, jist so! 
Poor Abe is dead — ^his murderer is dead — 
I'll have tu go and try tu be, John Hanks! 
I dun' no, dun-no — ^wonder why it's so! 

Curtain Drops. 

THE END 

814 



LINCOLN AS A STORY TELLER 

IT was my fortune to witness one of the important naval en- 
gagements of our late war, and with it are associated in my 
mind, the recollections of an interview with President Lincoln, 
in which he gave so characteristic an exhibition of some of his pe- 
culiarities, that the story of that interview seems worth relating 
here. The engagement referred to was that at Port Royal, South 
Carolina, November 7, 1861, when our fleet was commanded by 
Commodore, afterward Rear Admiral, S. F. Du Pont, son of the 
French economist, Du Pont de Nemours, who, imprisoned in La 
Force, was only saved from the guillotine by the timely death of 
Robespierre. 

The expedition against Port Royal was a notable one in every 
way, in the size of the fleet, in the character of its oflScers, and in the 
success which attended Du Font's skillful manoeuvres of sailing 
in an elliptic course between the forts at Hilton Head and Port 
Royal, firing at each in turn. The dispatch boat Bienville^ in 
which I came North, bore the first news of the successful engage- 
ment, and everywhere the report she carried was received with en- 
thusiasm. OfiF Fortress Monroe, where we arrived on Sunday, the 
men of war of one of the frigates manned the yards and gave round 
upon round of cheers. It was a most inspiring scene on that lovely 
day, when the sailors, in their clean ducks, swarmed over the rigging 
and rent the air with shouts, while flags waved and cannon roared 
their greeting. Hastening to Washington, I found myself, as the 
bearer of such news, the centre of eager inquirers and listeners. 
In the lobbies of Willard's, crowds gathered about to hear the 
story of our success again and again repeated. Casually mention- 
ing on one of these occasions that I had seen cotton growing within 
the lines of our army landed on Hilton Head, a little, old man 
stepped out from the crowd and asked that the statement be re- 

S15 



LINCOLN AS A STORY TELLER 



peated. Assured of the fact, he introduced himself as Senator , 

then having a seat in the Upper House, and asked if I were willing 
to go with him next day to repeat the story to President Lincoln. 
Nothing could have been more agreeable, and the appointment 
was made. 

Next morning, at the hour fixed, I found myself in the Sen- 
ator's room, undergoing the ceremony of introduction to numerous 
relatives and friends of the "conscript father;" to my astonish- 
ment, I, too, was claimed as a relative, since one of my name had, 
I was assured, married into the senatorial family. Of this dis- 
covery, I was more proud at the time than I had reason to be later, 
as the sequel will show. 

To the White House we went. Being a senatorial party, we 
were at once admitted to the presence of the chief magistrate. 
Sitting in a chair, with one long leg swinging over the arm, was Mr. 
Lincoln. After rising and greeting us, his position was resumed, 
the attenuated Umb once more beating time over the arm of the 
chair, to the sound of our voices. Here, to my surprise, I found 
myself brought forward as the central figure of the occasion. 

"Mr. President,** said the Senator, introducing me, "this 
gentleman was present at the capture of Port Royal, and he tells 
me that he has seen cotton growing there within the lines of our 
army." 

"John," called out Mr. Lincoln, tiuning his head in the direc- 
tion of an open door leading into an adjoining room, "John, go into 
Mrs. Lincoln's room and bring me a copy of Vanity Fair J* 

While John was gone for the American Punch of that day, 
Mr. Lincoln monopolized the conversation, telling us of the joke 
he was about to read to us. John came; the story was read, and 
after we had all duly laughed, 

"Mr. President," began the Senator again, "this gentleman 

816 






LINCOLN AS A STORY TELLER S 

tells me that he has seen cotton growmg within the lines of our 
army, at Hilton Head *' 

"That reminds me," interrupted Mr. Lincoln, "of the attempt 
I made to grow cotton in Illinois;" and we listened to the details of 
the experiment, in which the climate of Illinois proved too much for 
Mr. Lincoln's cotton. 

We listened, I say; not the Senator. His impatience to bring 
the President to the point of hearing the story of cotton growing 
within reach at Port Royal was evident. But he did not succeed. 
Each time that he drew near to his point, the President, instead of 
following him, would start down some by-path of conversation 
with us, interested listeners, in full cry after him. And so the poor 
Senator never had the pleasure of fixing the presidential attention 
upon that cotton in South Carolina. 

At the time, the moral of the incident escaped me: later on, it 

became apparent. Senator * was expelled from Congress for 

speculating upon his official position, and in those days, too, when 
men's lives and women's tears were the dice with which such gam- 
blers played. 

Though no such revelation was expected at the time, it was 
evident that oiur keen-sighted President had taken the measure 
of the man. He knew, what was hidden from me, that speculation 
in cotton was the motive for interest in my story — ^not patriotic 
delight in the triumph of our arms, as I, in my innocence, im» 
agined. I am older, now, and alas ! Senators do not tower before 
me in the majestic proportions that they then assumed. 

The true secret of Mr. Lincoln's story-telling reputation was 
revealed in that interview. His humor and love of a joke were the 
fence and foil with which he warded off the attacks of bores and 
self-seeking visitors. No man hated more to say no, and upon no 

*The expelled Senator must have been either Jesse D. Bright, of Indiana, who was ex- 
pelled Feb. 5, 1862, or Trusten Polk, of Missouri, expelled Jan. 10, 1862.— {£i>-] 

817 



94 UNCOLN AS A STOBY TELLER 

man was the necessity laid more constantly. Grant's refuge, under 
such circumstances, was in that Sphynxlike silence, familiar to 
those who knew him, and which has given a ready and interesting 
talker the reputation of a silent man. Lincoln's refuge was in a 
story, and his interview with the corrupt Senator showed with 
what tact he could use it when occasion required. 

Nbw York William C. Church 



818 



Fae-^im(l$ of original «g nesr m ponible. 



THE ASSASSINATION 



OP 



ABRAHAM LINCOLN 



^ ^tttrt rtt 



BY 

NEWMAN HALL, LL.B., 

!• 

AX7THOB OF "OOME TO JBSXJS/' BTO., BTO. 



LONDON: 

JOHN SNOW, PATERNOSTER ROW. 

1865 



TARRYTOWN 
NEW YORK 

RBPRINTBD 

WILLIAM ABBATT 

1915 

Being Eztfa No. 40 of Thb Magazins of Histokt with Notes amo Qubkibs 



THE ASSASSINATION 

OF 

ABRAHAM LINCOLN 



A LECTURE BY NEWMAN HALL, LL.B. 



IN the inaugural address delivered by the late lamented Presi- 
dent on his re-appointment as supreme Governor of the United 
States, he said of the two parties in the war, "Both read the 
same Bible, and pray to the same God. Each invokes his aid 
against the other. It may seem strange that any man should dare 
ask a just God's assistance in wringing bread from the sweat of 
other men's faces; but let us judge not, that we be not judged. 
The prayer of both could not be answered; that of neither has been 
answered fully; for the Almighty has his own purposes. *Woe 
unto the world because of offences, for it must needs be that offences 
come; but woe unto that man by whom the offence cometh.' If 
we suppose American slavery to be one of those offences which He 
now wills to remove, and that He gives to both this terrible war, as 
was due to those by whom the offence came, shall we say there is 
any departure from the divine attributes? Fondly do we hope^ 
fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily 
pass away; yet, if it be God's will that it continue until the wealth 
piled by bondsmen by two hundred and fifty years' unrequited toil 
shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash 
shall be paid by another drawn with the sword; as was said three 
thousand years ago, so still it must be said that 'The judgments of 
the Lord are true and righteous altogether.' " These last words 
shall be our text. The motto for our meditations on his decease 
shall be furnished by the lamented President himself, in the speech 
which he delivered within six weeks of that event. 

821 



« 



THE ASSASSINATION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." — Ps. xiz. 9. 



The judgments of the Lord are his revealed will contained in 
Holy Scripture, of which we say with David, **The statutes of the 
Lord are right, rejoicing the heart ; the commandment of the Lord 
is pure, enlightening the eyes." But God speaks in Providence 
as well as in Scripture. His judgments are his acts as well as his 
words. It is our interest and duty to study both. Some persons 
object to ministers of the gospel referring in their sermons to pub- 
lic events. They say wq ought to preach Christ crucified, and not 
talk about statesmen, rulers, or philanthropists. Certainly it 
would be a grievous dereliction of duty, a sad prostitution of the 
Church and the Sabbath, if any secular theme were substituted for 
the glorious gospel of the blessed God. But may not passing events 
be made a vehicle for conveying truth to the mind? What is the 
value of abstract truth if never practically applied? The events 
of God's providence should be contemplated in relation to God's 
gospel. Instead of keeping religion distinct from the interests of 
life, and thus rendering those interests merely secular and really 
godless, we should endeavour to hallow and elevate all those in- 
terests — domestic, commercial, political — ^by Christian faith and 
Christian feeling. Did the Jewish prophets never refer to political 
events? Their inspired ministry was directed in the first instance 
to their own age, and had a constant bearing on the great national 
events then transpiring. Did not our Lord Himself illustrate his 
teaching by reference to things secular? Is not the Bible full of 
truth embodied, of lessons drawn from the lives of men and the 
dealings of Providence? 

There has been no death in our own day more remarkable, 
none which will have a more prominent place in all future history, 
than the assassination of President Lincoln. If it was appropriate 
that every pulpit in our land should make allusion to the death of 
our lamented Prince Consort — ^if the omission would have argued 
a culpable disloyalty — ^is it not right that in all the churches ol 

822 



THE ASSASSINATION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 5 

America sermons have been delivered with special reference to the 
death of the President? If we were bereaved as a nation, should 
we not feel grateful for the sympathy of Americans if they also, in 
public worship, alluded to our loss? So also is it fitting that 
throughout our country such sympathy in public worship has been 
and still is manifested, especially when we consider the unparalleled 
atrocity of the deed which has deprived them of their chief magis* 
trate, and the peculiar crisis of affairs at which he has been taken 
from them. 

Besides, we are one people. We have sprung from the same 
Anglo-Saxon stock. The same mother-country gave us birth. 
The Pilgrim Fathers who colonized New England planted there 
that freedom to worship God which was then denied them here, 
but which their posterity both here and there equally prize as more 
sacred than life. We speak the same language, cherish the same 
traditions, read the same Bible, and sing the same hymns to the 
same tunes. We are animated by the same quenchless passion for 
liberty. Tens of thousands of our teeming population find a home 
there every year. Who has not yonder some near relative, friend, 
or acquaintance? How many look to America as the land where, 
however unlikely it may seem at present, they may possibly end 
their days! We are linked together by a thousand ties, so that their 
prosperity is our prosperity, and their honour is our honour. Their 
sorrows are our sorrows too. Let us, then, "bear one another's 
burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." Let us "rejoice with 
those who do rejoice, and weep with those who weep." 

There is cause for lament. A good and a great man has 
fallen by the hand of an assassin, who thought that in striking 
down the nation's head, he was striking down the nation itself. 
The universal grief in America shows how he was honoured and be- 
loved. Twice chosen by the free voice of millions of his fellow- 
citizens to rule over them in the most momentous crisis of their 
history — ^twice chosen to steer the vessel of the State amid waves 

S2S 



1 



6 THE ASSASSINATION OF ABRAHAM UNCOLN 

that threatened to overwhehn it — exposed to their keen scrutiny 
in all his public and private acts — he has won their universal hom- 
age and affection. Beneath an exterior unlike that which is gen- 
erally found in courts, and which gave occasion to vulgar satirists 
to utter their rude jests, there beat a heart to which courts have 
been too much strangers. In President Lincoln there was a com- 
bination of honesty, sagacity, magnanimity, and gentleness, such 
as few rulers have ever manifested. He was faithful to the trust 
imposed on him. He was firm to the purpose he had maturely 
formed. He was true to the nation whose integrity he was sworn 
to maintain. He was true to those principles of freedom he had 
always professed and loved. He would not allow his benevolent 
impulses to lead him away from what he conscientiously regarded 
as his duty to the State which he had engaged to govern according 
to law. Neither would he allow his official position to deaden and 
keep in abeyance those impulses. The fear of misrepresentation, 
the charge of inconsistency, did not cause him to waver in the 
course he had marked out for himself. He faithfully administered 
those laws; but as fast as circumstances gave him the opportunity 
constitutionally to modify those laws in the interest of emanci- 
pation, such opportimity was promptly embraced. Those who 
have not studied the pectiliar constitution of the United States 
cannot appreciate the difficulty of the position of a President urged 
on one side by a powerful party and his oath to observe the laws, 
and urged on the other side by another powerful party and his 
benevolent sentiments to abolish slavery. History will honour 
him for having accomplished both tasks. 

In all his intercourse with this country he manifested dignity, 
combined with courtesy and kind feeling. He was prompt to 
satisfy every righteous demand, without compromising the honour 
of his own nation. To his justice and moderation it is greatly 
owing that peace was maintained between the two countries on 
more than one occasion of difficulty. In the conduct of the war 

824 



THE ASSASSINATION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 7 

he united firmness with clemency. He was often censured as 
being unfeeling, because he persisted in prosecuting a contest 
which cost, so many lives. This was said to be fighting for empire. 
But fighting for empire is fighting for new territory, not fighting 
for the maintenance of nationality. To guard one's own country 
from disintegration is surely not fighting for empire. No empire 
in the world would contend more earnestly than our own for self- 
preservation. It was not, therefore, indifference to suffering, but 
a high sense of duty to his country, which led him with such per- 
severance to maintain the strife. But no one ever conducted a 
war or governed a nation amid such perils with so much clemency 
combined with firmness. 

One or two illustrations of his personal kindness have just 
come to my knowledge through a friend who has recently returned 
from the United States. This gentleman told me that he was one 
day conversing with the general in command of one of the armies 
on the subject of desertions, when the general said, "The first week 
of my command there were twenty-four deserters sentenced by 

court-martial to be shot, and the warrants for their execution were 
sent to the President to be signed. He refused. I went to Wash- 
ington and had an interview. I said, ^Mr. President, unless these 
men are made an example of, the army itself is in danger. Mercy 
to the few is cruelty to the many.' He replied, *Mr. General, there 
are already too many weeping widows in the United States. For 
God's sake, don't ask me to add to the number, for I won't do it.' " 
A young sentry was found asleep at his post. He was sentenced 
to be shot. But the President came into camp, and granted the 
earnest petition of the lad. The dead body of that youth was 
afterwards found amongst the slain on the field of Fredericksburg, 
and under his waistcoat, next his heart, was m photograph of the 
President, beneath which the lad had written, "God bless Presi- 
dent Lincoln." Many similar incidents might be cited to show 

825 



8 THE ASSASSINATION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

how tender-hearted he was, and how deeply he was beloved by 
multitudes who have received from him personal marks of kindness. 

That he rose from a most humble station only illustrates the 
more the high qualities he possessed, enabling him to overcome the 
disadvantages of poverty. He was great enough not to be ashamed 
of his origin. When a parcel, carefully packed, was sent to the 
White House, which, being opened, was found to contain a wood- 
man's axe, instead of being angry at this vulgar allusion to his 
former occupation, he ordered it to be placed in a prominent 
position, on a handsome mahogany stand, that all might see that 
he honoured labour, and was not ashamed that he once ate his 
bread by the sweat of his brow. 

There is every reason to believe that he was more than a mere 
professor of Christianity. When he left Illinois for Washington, 
his last request to his fellow citizens was that they would pray for 
him. It is said that he habitually rose at five o'clock, and spent 
an hour in devotion. The inaugural address already quoted 
breathes a deeply religious spirit; so do many of his public docu- 
ments and private letters. In a letter, dated April 4, 1864, he 
says — ^*'If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. If God now wills 
the removal of the great wrong, and will also that we of the North, 
as well as you of the South, shall pay fairly for our complicity in 
that wrong, impartial history will find therein new cause to attest 
and revere the justice and goodness of God." 

The "wrong" of slavery, he, more than any other man of our 
day, has been instrumental in removing. It was his well-known 
hostility to it which, on his election, was the proximate and avowed 
cause of the rebellion. As far as his pledges to the law and the 
course of events permitted, he steadily pursued this great object. 
Under his auspices slavery was speedily abolished in Columbia,* 
and prohibited in the Territories. The slave-trade was declared 

*The District of Columbia. 

82« 



THE ASSASSINATION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 9 

X>enal, and the right of search fully granted. The loyal States 
were invited to emancipate their slaves, full compensation being 
offered. Then the Proclamation was issued by which all slaves 
in rebel States were declared free; and though for a season this was 
inoperative over a large district, it is now not only law, but fact. 
During the war two milhons of slaves actually gained their free- 
dom, and were protected wherever the power of the President ex- 
tended. And now throughout those Southern States, long a 
house of cruel bondage, the jubilee trumpet is sounding deliverance 
to the captive, and the opening of the prison to them that were 
bound. Four millions of freed-men bless God for Abraham Lin- 
coln! 

At the very culmination of his labours — ^just as he saw the 
failure of the attempt to disintegrate the nation, and to found a 
rival empire on slavery as its comer-stone — ^just as he saw the 
triumph of emancipation, victory crowning his skill and perse- 
verance — he was snatched from the scene of his toils and his tri- 
umphs. The whole world execrates the deed; all future history 
will stigmatize it as the blackest of crimes. But for the victim 
himself shall we lament? Being, as we trust he was, a sincere 
Christian, sudden death to him was sudden glory. He found him- 
self in heaven before he expected. Freed from the anxious cares 
of government in a season of peculiar diflSculty, he was suddenly 
**where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at 
rest." Having done well what he was spared to do, he is now be- 
yond the possibih'ty of tarnishing his fair fame by the mistakes to 
which all men are liable. Having died a victim to the hatred 
which the slavery spirit ever bears to the staunch friends of freedom 
he will be known to all coming generations, not only as the honest, 
the magnanimous, the merciful President, but as the pure and 
illustrious martyr of American Emancipation. So that, whether 
we consider his condition in the other world or his reputation in 
this, we cannot pity him. The bullet of the murderer was quick 

887 



10 THE ASSASSINATION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

summons to the joys of heaven, and an effectual guarantee of fame 
on earth. 

We need not lament for Lincoln. But we may and do lament 
for his family and for his nation. Let our tender sympathy go 
forth towards her, who, sitting at his side, all unconscious of the 
coming blow, was suddenly bereft of the endeared companion of so 
many years, during which they had shared together both hardship 
and honour. Our beloved Queen, with that prompt, spontaneous 
kindness of heart which she manifests to all sufferers — one royal 
widow to another — with her own hand wrote to express her sym- 
pathy. There is not one of her subjects who does not, if possible, 
love her the more for that act of kindness, and in spirit join her in 
it. 

We lament for the nation. They have lost their chosen ruler^ 
whose fitness for his exalted post had been severely tested and fully 
confirmed; under whose admmistration the empire had been pre- 
served from disruption, and freed from what had been its weakness 
and dishonour; and whose wisdom and clemency marked him out 
as specially competent to complete the work of pacification and 
reconstruction. Our brethren yonder feel as if each of them had 
lost his own father. Never was such widespread, spontaneous, 
and imiversal grief. Whole cities hung with black are a feeble 
expression of the sorrow that is felt. Commerce suspends her 
trafficking. Mammon forgets his hoards, Pleasure arrays herself 
in sackcloth, to join the general lamentation. From twenty 
thousand churches, from twenty times twenty thousand family 
altars, go up earnest prayers for consolation and for succour in this 
their hour of public and of private woe. Let us join them in such 
prayers. It will be our best expression of good will. It will be 
the most solemn and most effectual sympathy. We have already 
often implored for America under this bereavement the special 
help of heaven. We have done it in public; we have done it in 
private. Let us do it expressly and emphatically now. Yes; 

828 



THE ASSASSINATION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 11 

let US, one and all, once more, with affectionate fervour, implore 
for our bereaved sister-nation the guidance, protection, and com- 
fort of the compassionate God and Father of all ! 

Let us pray: 

O ThoQ that art King of kings and Lord of lords! the universal Ruler who doest according 
to thy pleasure in the armies of hearen and amongst the inhabitants of the earth; we adore 
thy power and majesty, thy wisdom and goodness, thy righteousness and love. Clouds and 
darkness are round about Thee, but mercy and truth are the habitation of thy throne. Thy 
judgments are a great deep, but thy faithfulness endureth to all generations. We bow with 
bumble reverence before Thee. We submit, we obey, we confide, we rejoice in Thee, our 
Refuge and our Strength. We mourn before Thee in sympathy with our brethren in America, 
in this thdr hour of bitter bereavement. We mourn with the bereaved family. God sustain 
«nd comfort them. Judge of the widow, bind up the wounds of that broken heart. We 
mourn with the bereaved nation. The Lord be their Lawgiver; the Lord be their King! We 
bless Thee for the maintenance of order at a crisis of so much peril. We bless Thee for the 
spirit of clemency which has restrained the natural risings of revenge. Oh, grant a continu- 
ance of the same! We pray for thy servant who, in circumstances of so much difficulty, has 
succeeded to the office of supreme ruler of that great nation. Give him all needful wisdom and 
ability — firmness tempered with kindness, justice allied with mercy. Let him rule in the fear 
of God. May law and order speedily be re-established. May the wounds of war be healed. 
May there be an immediate and final end to slavery. May the long-oppressed negro race re- 
joice in knowledge and industry; in the rights of freemen and the privileges of Christ's Church. 
May America fiourish; may she be exalted in righteousness, and employ her vast influence only 
for the welfare of the world. Unite our nation with theirs. Draw us together with the cords 
of sympathy. Let there be no envy, no ill-will. Oh, save us, save the world, from the miseries 
of war between Great Britain and America. Scatter Thou the people that delight in war. 
Give peace in our time, O Lord; give peace in all time, we beseech Thee; and may these two 
nations, so blessed of God, be ever found united in the toils and the triumphs of civilisation, 
freedom, and religion. God save the Queen! God bless the President! God guard our 
native land! God guard and prosper and bless America! For the sake of Jesus, the Prince 
of Peace: our Lord and theirs. Amen, and Amen! 

If there is cause for lamentation, there is also cause for thank- 
fulness. The mercy of God is revealed together with his judg- 
ments. If we weep with those who weep, we will also rejoice with 
those who rejoice. Let us, then, give thanks that no civil con- 
vulsion has followed this murder. There has been no interval of 
anarchy. The machinery of government has revolved without a 
moment's pause. Power has quietly been transferred to the next 
in station, without contention, panic, or delay. While lamenting 

829 



12 THE ASSASSINATION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

that the blow at the individual has taken effect » let us thank God 
that the blow at the nation has been averted. 

Let us rejoice that there has been no outburst of popular re- 
venge. There might have been violent assaults against the per- 
sons and property of all people supposed to be favourable to the 
Southern Confederacy. There might have been wholesale con- 
flagration and massacre. There might have been a wild demand 
for severest measures on the part of the government against all 
implicated in the rebellion. There has been nothing of the sort. 
We have not heard of one act of violence. Justice is indeed threat- 
ened against those implicated in the murder; but the same policy 
of clemency and conciliation towards the conquered, inaugurated 
by Lincoln, has been adopted and proclaimed by his successor. 
When we consider the provocations which have been given by the 
Vermont raiders, by the New York incendiaries, by the starving 
to death of thousands of Federal prisoners, we regard it as a mark 
of the special controlling grace of God that, under this additional 
and most monstrous outrage, the passions of the nation have been 
thus restrained ; and that after all their victories in battle, and aU 
their successful sieges, they have illustrated the proverb, "He that 
is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth hia 
spirit, than he that taketh a city." 

We should be thankful for that overruling Providence, which 
"from seeming evil still educing good,'* causes some benefit to 
result even from an event so sad, a crime so horrible, and makes the 
wrath of man to praise Him. In America the death of Lincoln has 
fused together all parties in one common sentiment of indignation^ 
not only against the individual plotters and perpetrators of the 
crime, but against that slave spirit of which the crime was the un- 
doubted and legitimate development. There are misguided men 
who, though they have been fighting for an institution that vio- 
lated all the rights of man and all the laws of God, are nevertheless 
incapable of being implicated in such a crime as the assassination 

sso 



THE ASSASSINATION OF ABRAHAM UNCOLN 18 

of the late President. It would be unwarrantable to charge that 
crime, without proof, on individuals who proclaim their abhorrence 
of it. But it is just and rational to charge it against the slavery 
spirit which the institutions of the South have nurtured through 
long years of cruelty and wrong perpetrated against the negro. 
That slavery spirit which bought and sold human beings like cattle 
— ^which separated husbands and wives, parents and children — 
which flogged naked women — ^which hunted fugitives with blood- 
hounds, and burnt alive and killed, with unmentionable tortures, 
those slaves who resisted its wicked will; that slavery spirit which 
organized ruffianism, incendiarism, and murder in Kansas — which 
struck down Senator Sumner in the Senate House, and hailed with 
plaudits in every city the would-be assassin — which plotted the 
burning of New York, and commissioned plunder and murder 
against Vermont bankers; that slavery spirit which would have 
shot, or hung, or burnt to death any of us, if caught in the act of 
helping one single slave to escape; that same slavery spirit it was 
which struck down the man who had given freedom to four millions. 
This, then, will unite all persons in execration of slavery. If 
there have been two parties hitherto — one desiring to abolish 
slavery, the other only seeking to debar it from spreading further — 
there will be only one party now. All will be resolved to extir- 
pate, root and branch, that atrocious system, that embodiment of 
all villainies,* which has so long prevailed in the Southern States; 
which caused this cruel war, and which, in addition to all the lives 
lost in camp, in battle, in hospital, and in prison, is now answerable 
for that of President Lincoln, whose murderer it incited and com- 
missioned in his deed of perfidy and revenge. We will, therefore, 
be thankful that at least this good has resulted from the crime — 
that if there was previously any possibility of compromise, any 
disposition, for the sake of union and peace, to deal gently with the 
slavery question, and not immediately and completely to let the 
captive go free, there will be none now; no fear now that the loyal 

*ThAt execrable sum of all villainieB commonly called A S/aM Trade. — Jolm Wesley^ 
Journal, Feb. 12, 1792. 

SSI 



14 THE ASSASSINATION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

servant shall be made to submit to the yoke of the rebel master, 
and the friend be worse treated than the foe. No! the death of 
Lincoln is the final knell of slavery. 

There is also cause of thankfulness, as regards relations be- 
tween this country and America. There was ill-feeling in 
many minds. America had eagerly looked to the mother- 
country for sympathy in her great struggle for existence, in 
her great battle with the most gigantic of wrongs. She thought 
she looked in vain. The great mass of the people sympathized, 
but many of those whose opinions America most esteemed, looked 
on coldly, or critically, or with undisguised sympathy for the foe. 
America misunderstood this country in some matters. In others 
she had cause for disappointment and irritation. Nor was there 
altogether the absence of words and deeds in America calculated 
to cause alienation here. But all this is obliterated in the uni- 
versal sympathy elicited by the event. Whatever differences of 
opinion have existed among us, arising partly from incorrect in- 
formation as to facts, partly from erroneous judgments as to the 
objects of both parties, all are one in lamenting the late President, 
in abhorrence of the crime, in sympathy with the nation. That 
which has emphatically been expressed by the Queen, by Parlia- 
ment, by municipal assemblies, is felt by every inhabitant of the 
land, from the peer to the peasant. This sympathy over the grave 
of the President will facilitate the union of all parties in accepting 
accomplished facts, and wishing well to America, united and free. 
And this universal sympathy expressed here, will do more than 
could have been done by years of explanation, to cause Ameri- 
cans to forget what they had thought indicated injustice and un- 
kindness on our part. They, as we, are a generous people. They 
will be melted by the spontaneous and unequivocal outburst of a 
universal sympathy. They will know that the heart of old Eng- 
land beats true, though for a season its tongue did not utter solely 
what they considered generous and just. Poisonous seeds of mis- 

83« 



THE ASSASSINATION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 15* 

conception, which might have produced a crop of contention, have 
been destroyed. A more cordial union than has been felt for many 
years has been consecrated by this martyrdom. Fears cherished 
by many that the civil strife might be followed by an international 
war, have been allayed, and peace between the two nations ren- 
dered secure. 

And who can estimate adequately the importance of main- 
taining such a peace? The recent war has proved that the re-^ 
sources, the energy, the bravery of America, are not inferior to our 
own. What then must be the result of war between nations thus, 
prepared and thus resolute? Each would provoke the other to 
renewed efforts. There would be no yielding till there was utter 
exhaustion. What millions of precious lives might be sacrificed? 
How wide-spread would be the desolation and woe. How would 
universal Tyranny exult at the sight of the two great champions* 
of Freedom turning away from the common foe, to destroy each 
other, instead of being allies in the great conflict of truth against 
error, of liberty against despotism, of right against wrong. If, 
then, the death of Abraham Lincoln, by evoking British sympathy^ 
has tended to allay American irritation and to unite the two coun- 
tries in the bonds of peace and good-will; and if it has ratified the 
late President's emancipation proclamation, so that slavery in 
America is buried in the same grave with him whom it slew — shall 
we not adore the goodness which is blended with the judgments of 
the Lord? 

We may from this instance learn to trust in God when all 
things seem to be against us. To many, the murder of Lincoln 
seemed ruin to America and to Freedom. So every Christian can 
look back to periods when God was preparing for him special bless- 
ings by methods which seemed most destructive to his welfare. 
The brightest morning has sometimes dashed out of the darkest 
night. The loveliest paradise has sometimes been reached by the 

888 



16 THE ASSASSINATION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

roughest path. ""All things work together for good to those that 
love God." 

"Judge not the Lord by feeble sense* 
But trust Him for his grace: 
Behind « frowning Providence 
He hides a smiling face." 

There are other lessons of an ordinary and obvious kind. 
We are of course reminded of the uncertainty of life. The chief 
danger was over; the hour of triumph had come. Mr. Lincoln, 
on an occasion of national rejoicing, unconscious of danger, was 
hurried into eternity. We may be in no danger from the hand of 
our fellow-man. But death is an assassin who has marked out 
every one of us as his victim. He dogs our steps. We can never 
elude his pursuit. He is close behind us watching his opportunity. 
The blow, though delayed, is sure some day to be delivered — sure 
some day to prove fatal. When that shall be none can know. Is 
there then no possibility of avoiding the danger? There is. Let us 
commit ourselves into the keeping of the Prince of Life. He is 
stronger than death. He is a body-guard, under whose care all 
are safe who put their trust in Him. "The angel of the Lord en- 
campeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them." 
"No weapon formed against them shall prosper.*^ For though 
death will seem to strike, it will not be as an assassin, but as a 
friend to those whose "life is hid with Christ in God.'* To them 
death is a friendly messenger to call them home from the conflict to 
the triumph, from the pilgrimage to the palace, from earth to 
heaven. Jesus said, "He that believeth in me shall never die." 
When the body is summoned to the grave, the soul is summoned to 

Finally, we are reminded of our Divine Emancipator. Abra- 
ham Lincoln, on Good Friday, was slain; an unconscious martyr 
in emancipating four millions of men from the slavery of the body. 
Jesus Christ, on Good Friday, was crucified: a voluntary sacrifice 
in redeeming the human race from the slavery ofi he soul, from the 
condemnation of hell. He, the eternal Word, the Son o! God, be- 

334 



THE ASSASSINATION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN 17 

Leld mankind toiling, groaning, dying. Moved with compassion 
He undertook the work of our emancipation. He assumed our 
nature, fulfilled our duties, suffered for our sins, died for our sal- 
vation. Of his life He said, *^No man taketh it from me, I lay it 
down of myself.*' "We are redeemed not with corruptible things 
as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ." But it 
was not only necessary that the price of redemption should be 
paid. The spirit of freedom needs to be awakened in the abject 
slave of the devil. And this also our Emancipator does. We 
ere new creatures in Christ Jesus. Old things pass away, behold 
all things become new in the case of those who believe. And all 
are invited thus to believe and be saved, for "He is the propitiation 
for the sins of the whole world." Are any of us still servants of 
sin, slaves to Satan? What? when God Himself has published a 
proclamation of emancipation? Let us all accept the priceless 
boon! Let us cast away our old fetters; let us exult in the freedom 
of faith and love. Let us yield ourselves in grateful homage to 
Christ, obeying his laws, rejoicing in his love, and aiding to pro- 
claim throughout the world — ^^Xiberty to the captives and the 
opening of the prison to them that are bound." 



FINIS 



SS5 



> 



14 DAY USE 

RBTURN TO DBSK FROM VHICH BOKROWBD 



I 



This book is dae oa the last date stamped belowy or 
on the date to ^Hbdch rcD e w e d. 
Renewed books are sob jea to immediate recaU. 




LOAN 



TZ 



I I 



JUL 8 1 971 ^ 



M » ■ t 



If • m* * 



I • 






^ 



T- 



<i 



Aa 






JUL a 6 



1STO 



REC CIP MAR 2 5 191 




LD 21-32wv-3,'74 
(R70678l0)476— A.32 



IW/4ft [] ipf^^ 



LD 21A-60m-8,'67 
(C848l8l0)476B 





^1 


8EIKIIALUMMTM.«t«Mli» 


^0 


; '.' ■'• - 


■lllllllllll 

B00D777MaM 



I